Energy minister Brian Wilson today announced government funding of up to £2.3 million to support the development and demonstration of a series of new wave energy devices off the Western Isles of Scotland.
The award will be made to Wavegen, based in Inverness, following finalisation of the project’s technical assessment by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).
According to the DTI, the funding offer will be based on three devices, located in shallow waters and based on an extension of the oscillating water column principles already demonstrated onshore.
Speaking in Stornoway, Mr Wilson said: ‘Our assessors are still pursuing a number of technical questions with Wavegen but it is clear that there is sufficient merit in the project for me to announce the department’s intention in principle to back it.
‘A formal letter of commitment will follow when issues relating to the sequential development of the three devices and other outstanding points have been resolved. I hope this can be done very quickly.’
‘I am also very hopeful that Wavegen will choose to manufacture the devices at Arnish on Lewis, leading to an early re-opening of the yard,’ added Mr Wilson. ‘
Today’s announcement is in line with the UK government’s target of securing 10% of electricity supplies from renewable sources by 2010.
The funding will come from the £100 million allocated in 2001 by the Prime Minister for renewable energy development.