French engineering giant Alstom and Scottish energy developer SSE Renewables have signed an agreement to work on a 200 MW wave energy site in Orkney, Scotland.
The partners intend to install AWS-II wave energy converters at the Costa Head wave project site, which is 5 km north of mainland Orkney in The Crown Estate’s Pentland Firth and Orkney Waters ‘strategic area’.
The ‘floating’ wave energy converter technology has been developed by AWS Ocean Energy, in which Alstom acquired a 40% equity stake last June. The converters comprise floating cells with flexible membrane absorbers that convert the wave motion into pneumatic power that can drive turbines.
A model system was tested in Loch Ness in 2010 and trials of a full-scale system are due to start this year, supported by Scottish Enterprise’s WATERS fund (Wave and Tidal Energy: Research, Development and Demonstration Support). A prototype system is planned for deployment at the European Marine Energy Centre in 2014.
The new project will start with a detailed site survey and environmental impact assessment (EIA), before installing an initial 10 MW of capacity. Alstom and SSE will also work together to obtain the necessary permitting for the development.
“This project places Alstom at the forefront of the fast-developing ocean energy sector along with our offshore wind and tidal energy businesses,” says Jérôme Pécresse, president of Alstom’s renewable business and vice president of its hydro division.
For further information:
Technology Strategy Board launches £10 million marine energy competition (17-Jan)
UK calls for international effort on marine energy (25-Nov)
Scottish wave energy developer puts first commercial plant into operation (21-Nov)
Falmouth in Cornwall to be home to new wave energy test site (11-Nov)
17 January 2012