Aquamarine Power’s
“Oyster 1” in operation
earlier this year
 
Edinburgh, Scotland — ESI-AFRICA.COM — 30 November 2010 – In a substantial boost for the company and the industry, wave energy developer Aquamarine Power has announced £11 million (R122 million) in new funding which will finance further development of the company’s “oyster” device.

Making the announcement here, Aquamarine Power said the full amount had been made up of £8 million (R89 million) from Swiss-Swedish power and automation technology giant ABB, while £3 million (R33 million) had come from existing shareholders, including Scottish and Southern Energy’s ventures unit.

“This is a game-changing moment for our company and for the British marine energy industry,’ said Aquamarine Power CEO Martin McAdam.

“ABB is a global leader in power and automation technologies, and they have taken a strategic decision to invest in Oyster technology,” he explained. “Through working together, ABB will gain an early-mover advantage in our wave energy technology, while we will be able to access ABB’s technical, research and engineering expertise and utilise their global supply chain network.”

Aquamarine’s Oyster device is a buoyant hinged flap that is attached to the seabed at a depth of about 10m and a distance of about 0.5km from the shore. The flap moves with the impact of waves to drive hydraulic pistons that push water onshore to drive a hydro-electric turbine. The first full-scale Oyster was installed at the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) in Orkney, Scotland, in November last year.

Aquamarine is monitoring the performance of the device to help it design the next-generation Oyster 2. The company aims to establish farms that combine devices to each achieve a capacity of 100 MW or more.

“Wave energy is primed to become an important part of the world’s renewable energy portfolio,” said Brice Koch, head of ABB Marketing and Customer Solutions. “This investment reflects our belief in its technical viability, and our confidence in Aquamarine Power’s technology and its management team.”