SmartestEnergy purchases Orkney marine power

SmartestEnergy has signed a Power Purchase Agreement with the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) for all of the power generated from the wave and tidal devices operating at its Orkney Islands test centre.

The Orkney site operates purpose-built berths into which marine and tidal developers can install their machines for full-scale, grid-connected operational testing.

When full, these sites have a combined capacity of 11MW for export to SmartestEnergy, which is a purchaser and supplier of electricity from the independent generation sector.

Since its inception in 2003, EMEC has attracted 12 device developers including Pelamis Wave Power, Aquamarine Power, OpenHydro and Tidal Generation Limited.

Figures from Scottish Renewables suggest that more than 20GW of wave and tidal energy capacity could be produced in the waters around Scotland, providing up to 80TW/h of electricity per year, equivalent to one-fifth of total UK consumption.