Pelamis Wave Power enters administration

Pelamis Wave Power Limited has gone into administration after failing to secure the funds required to further develop its marine energy solution.

Pelamis’ wave machines comprised five tubed sections linked by universal joints that allow flexing in two directions. The machine floats semi-submerged on the surface of the water and faces into the direction of the waves. As waves pass down the length of the machine and the sections bend in the water, the movement is converted into electricity via hydraulic power take-off systems housed inside each joint of the machine tubes, and power is transmitted to shore using subsea cables and equipment (The Engineer, April 2012).

In a statement, Neil Kermode, managing director of European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) said: ‘Pelamis have been one of the icons of the marine renewables industry, so we are absolutely gutted at this setback.

‘It is all the more galling when we know that marine energy has the potential to be a major supplier of power to the UK. But just like anybody who has been to sea, we know how hard it is out there, and trying to build a new power source was never going to be easy.

‘Today’s announcement is undoubtedly a big setback in the mission to learn how to harvest energy from the sea, but the prize is still there. The waves will keep pounding into the Orkney coastline and the world is still using precious and irreplaceable fossil fuels at an increasing rate. We know marine energy will have its day. It just looks a bit harder tonight.’

In September 2014 Pelamis Wave Power was selected to progress to the next stage of a competitive procurement process with Irish utility ESB for the deployment of Pelamis wave machines on the west coast of Ireland. 

WestWave is a 5MW capacity project led by ESB, which has secured €23.5m of NER300 funding from the European Commission. With proposed delivery of the wave farm by 2018, WestWave will be Ireland’s first wave energy project.