Scotland may be a small country, but its stake in the future renewable energy is about to get serious as Aquamarine Power’s Oyster 800 Wave energy device will soon be installed and connected to the UK grid. We covered the launch of this innovative “near shore” Oyster 800 device last year, and earlier this week Scotland’s Energy Minister Fergus Ewing granted full consent to developments of the 2.4MW wave energy demonstration project. This consent means two further Oyster 800 wave energy devices will be installed at the same site at the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) in Orkney, and this will create the UK’s first grid-connected near shore wave power array with a total of three 800kW Oyster devices.
Consents play a vital part in the development of such projects, and this consent should pave the way for Aquamarine Power to continue to work with Marine Scotland and gain all the necessary consents for their other sites — a 200MW commercial wave energy site in Orkney, and a 40MW site on Lewis.
Scotland’s Energy Minster Fergus Ewing said of the project:
“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… 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 reindustrialize Scotland.”
Aquamarine Power stated:
“Our 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. We look forward to working with the local community in Orkney on the responsible development of our first Oyster array.
“This is a great milestone for our company and for the wave energy industry as a whole. This marks an important step in the development of Oyster which one day will be delivering power to hundreds of thousands of homes.”
We look forward to seeing what the new technology will mean for the UK, and in the long run, what it could mean for other nations.
Images ©Aquamarine Power