Consent for first Oyster wave power array

14 Feb 12 - Martin McAdam, Chief Executive Officer

Installation of the Oyster 800 wave power device

Today Scotland's Energy Minister Fergus Ewing has given the green light on Aquamarine Power's plans for the first array of Oyster devices, by granting full consent to our 2.4 MW demonstration project in Orkney. 

This is great news - it is clear evidence Scotland is not only leading the way in marine energy technology, but shows that regulator Marine Scotland is putting in place the timely and efficient consent and permitting processes which will enable our industry to grow.

Consents are vital. A clear pathway to all the necessary permits for marine energy development is one of the critical enablers for a business such as ours, and countries which lack a transparent and timely system will fall behind.

We installed the first Oyster 800 device in September, and the consent means we can now install a further two Oyster wave energy devices at the same site at the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) in Orkney.

The Oyster 800 array will consist of three 800kW Oyster devices and will be the UK's first grid-connected nearshore wave power array.

It paves the way for us to continue working with Marine Scotland to further streamline the consents process and gain all the necessary consents for our 200MW commercial wave energy site in Orkney, and our 40MW site on Lewis.

On making the announcement today, Energy Minster Fergus Ewing said:

"Scotland has unparalleled natural resources, with a tenth of Europe's wave power, and these new devices will help us to fully harness the huge energy resources around our own coast and contribute to global efforts to expand clean, green electricity generation.

"Scotland is in the midst of a renewables revolution, and it is innovation and creativity such as that behind the Oyster device which will help us meet our ambitious renewable electricity targets and help us reindustrialise Scotland."

Our application has been granted subject to the implementation of a suitable environmental monitoring and mitigation plan to ensure suitable measures are taken to protect the environment. We look forward to working with the local community in Orkney on the responsible development of our first Oyster array.

This is a great milestone for our company and for the wave energy industry as a whole.  This marks an important step in the development of Oyster which one day will be delivering power to hundreds of thousands of homes.