Scotland’s first near shore commercial wave power array, which will power more than 1,000 homes, has been approved by Energy Minister Fergus Ewing.
Two new Oyster wave energy converters will be added to an existing device at the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) at Billia Croo, Orkney, to allow operators Edinburgh wave energy company, Aquamarine Power, to test the devices as an array.
Each of the machines has a capacity of 800 Kilowatts, bringing the total capacity of the array to 2.4MW.
Although the machines are demonstrators, the array will be the first near shore wave array in Scotland to be connected to the National Grid, and will supply enough electricity to power more than 1,000 homes.
Energy Minster Fergus Ewing said:
“I am delighted to grant consent to these two new Oyster devices, the first nearshore wave array in Scotland to feed in to the National Grid.
“This array will supply more than 1,000 homes with clean energy, and should the demonstrator be successful the technology being developed here will power hundreds of thousands more homes in future.
“Scotland has unparalleled natural resources, with a tenth of Europe’s wave power, and these new devices will help us to fully harness the huge energy resources around our own coast and contribute to global efforts to expand clean, green electricity generation.
“Scotland is in the midst of a renewables revolution, and it is innovation and creativity such as that behind the Oyster device which will help us meet our ambitious renewable electricity targets and help us reindustrialise Scotland.”
The application has been granted subject to the implementation of a suitable Environmental Monitoring and Mitigation Plan to ensure suitable measures are taken to protect the environment, which the company’s CEO, Martin McAdam welcomes on his company’s blog.
McAdam said:-“This is great news – it is clear evidence Scotland is not only leading the way in marine energy technology, but shows that regulator Marine Scotland is putting in place the timely and efficient consent and permitting processes which will enable our industry to grow.
We look forward to working with the local community in Orkney on the responsible development of our first Oyster array.”
Photograph courtesy of Aquamarine Power