Government announcement today of grant funding for Edinburgh based wave businesses Pelamis and Aquamarine Power, and the first tidal project in Pentland Firth given go ahead.

Development of the largest tidal array in Europe today can now progress after Scottish Ministers awarded consent to build the first tidal energy project in the Pentland Firth.

MeyGen Limited, a competitor in the Scottish Government’s Saltire Prize, has been given the go ahead to install the tidal array in stages, beginning with a nine megawatt demonstration project of up to six turbines.

The Energy Minister will also announce at the Scottish Renewables Marine Conference in Inverness today that leading Scottish wave developers Aquamarine Power Limited and Pelamis Wave Power are to share a slice of a £13 million wave first array support programme – part of the Scottish Government’s Marine Renewables Commercialisation Fund.

Mr Ewing said:-“The tide is also turning for the wave sector. Both wave and tidal technologies need support if we are to maintain our leading position in marine energy. The Scottish Government’s awards to Aquamarine Power Limited and Pelamis Wave Power will enable them to develop their technologies further so they can successfully deploy the first wave arrays.

“We must tackle climate change. We need to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels through better and more efficient uses of energy. Marine energy – a home grown technology with huge potential – is part of the solution.

“Last week I welcomed the Audit Scotland report that shows strong and strategic leadership from this government within the renewable sector is key to the successes to date. No government since devolution has embarked on such an ambitious programmes of investment to transform our renewable energy sector.

Commenting on the announcement of new wave energy funds by Fergus Ewing MSP, Aquamarine Power Chief Executive Officer Martin McAdam said:-“Aquamarine Power has proved that our wave energy device, Oyster, works and can generate power in our ocean’s most powerful storms.

Oyster has now been operating in nine metre waves which few other technology developers have achieved. Our major challenge is to continue to secure the investment required to further improve the reliability of our current Oyster 800 machine and begin the design of our next-generation Oyster 801.

The industry continues to suffer from significant under-investment and this type of grant support is essential. I hope that this grant funding will encourage major Scottish and UK firms to see the potential of this industry and take an interest in its success through investment and partnership.

“We are very grateful for the continued support  and confidence of the Scottish Government in our technology.

“I hope that this award will help us to attract the major investment we require to develop a commercially competitive wave energy technology. ”

In our photos you can see the Pelamis wave energy device being towed off site with Aquamarine’s Oyster in the foreground.