Ewing pumps in £3.7m to help keep Scotland’s marine energy sector afloat

Albatern_kishornDec2014_02_940x420Scotland’s marine energy sector has benefited from funding of almost £3.7million to further test and develop new marine energy prototypes in the seas around Scotland.

Government grants have been made to three companies – Albatern, Nova Innovation and Sustainable Marine Energy – to support total project costs of £7 million for the development of new wave and tidal energy devices.  The three successful projects are:

Edinburgh-based Albatern has been awarded £1.8m towards a total project cost of £3.5 million for the build and demonstration of a larger ‘Squid’ device. Albatern is specifically targeting off-grid markets such as aquaculture and community scale projects.

Nova Innovation has been awarded £573,000 towards a total project cost of  just under £1 million for direct-drive tidal turbine development and demonstration. The innovative direct drive generator will increase the efficiency and reliability of tidal turbines, reducing the cost of energy by 20%, and increasing the commercial returns available to Nova Innovation’s customers. Nova developed the world’s first community-owned tidal turbine in 2014 at North Yell in Shetland and will test the technology at Bluemull Sound, Shetland.

Sustainable Marine Energy has been awarded funding of £1.3m towards a total project cost of £2.5m for an array demonstrator project. The company is establishing an operational and production hub in Scotland as a result of the funding to develop its innovative PLAT-O tidal energy platform technology. This enables multiple turbines operating in mid-water to share a common infrastructure.

David Campbell, Finance Director, Albatern, said: “This new project builds on the learning from the current wave energy units that we have deployed in Scottish waters. It seeks to develop a scalable product range to enable wave energy projects for larger island populations across the globe with bigger waves and increased power requirements.”

Simon Forrest, Managing Director, Nova Innovation, said: “We are committed to driving down the cost of tidal power through innovation. Our direct drive generator is more reliable and efficient than a conventional geared drive train; this increases the energy generated by our turbines and reduces operating costs. The impact is a 20% reduction in lifetime cost of energy and increasing commercial return for our customers.

Scottish Energy Minister Fergus Ewing said: “This programme is designed to foster a culture of innovation and research and development and I am very pleased that as well as supporting two Scottish ocean power companies [Albatern and Nova Innovation], we are assisting a third from the Isle of Wight [Sustainable Marine Energy] to set up a production hub in Scotland.

“I am determined that we make the most of the clean, secure and abundant energy stored in the waters around our coasts and these three companies are developing pioneering technologies to help us do that.”

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