Scottish ministers have announced funding for what has been described as the world’s biggest wave energy farm.
Ocean Power Delivery Ltd has developed a novel offshore wave energy converter called Pelamis. Building on technology developed for the offshore industry, the Pelamis has a similar output to a modern wind turbine. The first fullscale pre-production prototype has been built and tested at the European Marine Energy Centre in Orkney.
Scotland’s Deputy First Minister Nicol Stephen announced a £13m funding package that will also allow a number of other marine energy devices to be tested. The biggest single handout of more than £4m will go to a Scottish Power subsidiary, CRE Energy, which will build the wave farm. Scottish Power is planning a venture which it believes could create enough power for 2,000 homes.
Ocean Power Delivery Ltd anticipate that future `wave farm’ projects would consist of an arrangement of interlinked multi-machines connected to shore by a single subsea cable. A typical 30MW installation would occupy a square kilometre of ocean and provide sufficient electricity for 20,000 homes. Twenty of these farms could power a city such as Edinburgh.