Wave and tidal power join forces

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Renewable Technology Ventures has joined forces with wave energy company Aquamarine Power to form a new company

Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE) subsidiary Renewable Technology Ventures Ltd (RTVL) has joined forces with wave energy company Aquamarine Power to form a new company.

The joint venture, to be known as Aquamarine Power Ltd, plans to be the first in the world to deploy both wave and tidal devices on a commercial scale. SSE has made an initial investment of £6.3m in the new company, which has also secured further £1.5m investment from Sigma Capital Group.

Aquamarine Power will continue work on its Oyster hydro-electric wave power device, and will also deliver a new tidal device.

The company has been working with partners, including the wave power research team at Queen’s University Belfast, to develop the Oyster device, which is scheduled for full scale testing at EMEC in Orkney within the next six months. A year later they aim to deploy the first Oyster Hydro-Electric Wave Farm for demonstration and testing.

Oyster captures wave energy and transmits it as high pressure water, which is pumped into onshore hydro-electric power conversion plant.

RTVL has been developing underwater tidal turbine demonstrator, and the new company will finalise the design and plan to install a 2.4MW demonstrator at the EMEC tidal test site, Orkney, in 2009.

Dr. Siân McGrath, Aquamarine’s Business Development Manager said that the new company will be owned 50 per cent by SSE and 50 per cent by the existing Aquamarine Power shareholders and the recently launched Sigma Sustainable Energy Fund II.

The company will be based in Edinburgh. The Oyster device is currently being manufactured by Isleburn at their Nigg facility in Easter Ross from where it will be towed to Orkney in the coming months for sea testing at EMEC, the marine energy testing centre.