About us:  Our story

Working offshore on Oyster 800

Our story

Our story first started in 2001 when Professor Trevor Whittaker's research and development team at Queen's University, Belfast began to research flap-type wave power devices with a view to reducing the cost of energy.  The R&D team's research ultimately led to the development of the Oyster wave energy device.

The innovative design of the Oyster wave energy converter attracted the interest of Allan Thomson, the retired founder of WaveGen, the UK's first ever wave power company.  Allan went on to co-fund further R&D into the Oyster wave power device.  In 2005, Allan set up Aquamarine Power to bring Oyster wave power technology to the commercial market.

Securing investment

In 2007, we secured an investment of £6.3 million from major utility SSE (Scottish and Southern Energy) plus further investment of £1.5 million from venture capitalist Sigma Capital Group.  This gave us the financial backing and additional industry expertise we needed to progress our Oyster wave energy technology from scale model wave tank testing to full-scale sea trials.

In 2008 we completed the fabrication of our first full-scale prototype Oyster wave energy converter and in 2009 we installed Oyster 1 at the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) in Orkney when it began producing power to the grid for the first time.

Continual progress

The following year, in November 2010, we welcomed ABB, one of the world's largest power and automation companies, as a major shareholder in the business.

In 2011 we installed our next-generation Oyster 800 wave energy device at EMEC. This device is undergoing operational testing and is producing electrical power.

Oyster 800 has now demonstrated at EMEC for over three years - including surviving some of the largest stroms this decade. Our team of engineers and researchers are already developing the next versions of our Oyster devices, while our commercial team is progressing with a portfolio of development sites where can install and operate future Oyster wave farms.