Flemish wave-energy firm takes to Orkney test-site waters

Laminaria wave energy convertor at 1:4 scale
Laminaria wave energy convertor at 1:4 scale

The European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) has signed up Flemish wave energy developer Laminaria as a new customer to test its wave energy converter at the grid-connected test site in Orkney.

The official signing took place in Edinburgh to coincide with a visit by the Minister-President of Flanders, Geert Bourgeois.

Laminaria’s technology – a surge operated attenuator – has a bespoke storm protection system build in to enhance the survivability of the device, allowing it to remain operational during storm events.

Scale sea trials are already underway in Belgium to inform the design for the full-scale device that will undergo performance testing at EMEC in 2017. Laminaria will be the first Belgian company to test at EMEC’s test sites.

Steven Nauwelaerts, Laminaria’s Chief Executive, said: “By combining the expertise built up in Scotland over the last decade and the novel approach of Laminaria, we can put wave energy on the road to success.

“The aim is to create a win-win situation by supplying the Scottish grid with clean reliable energy and creating employment in Flanders in the development and construction of the devices.”

Geert Bourgeois, Minister-President of Flanders, said: “In the last few years, Flemish company Laminaria has developed innovative technology for a wave energy converter, in collaboration with a string of partners in Flanders, such as the University of Ghent and the Port of Ostend, and with support of the Flemish Agency for Innovation by Science & Technology.

“I am very pleased that this renewable energy technology can take a further step in its development in collaboration with Scottish partners with their excellent expertise in marine energy and state of the art facilities.

“I wish this nascent partnership the best of luck and success – it is a fine example of a very promising cooperation linking Flanders and Scotland.”

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