Oyster 800 wave energy converter during installation in Orkney

Aquamarine Power secures £7 million new funding and ongoing commitment from shareholders

27 Sep 11

Wave energy company Aquamarine Power took another major step towards the commercialisation of its Oyster technology with the announcement today of £7 million of new funding and a commitment of further investment in the company from its existing shareholders over the next two years.

The company has closed a funding round of £7 million comprising £3 million each from major shareholders SSE Venture Capital, the ventures unit of SSE (Scottish and Southern Energy), and ABB, the multinational power and automation company, together with a further £1 million from Scottish Enterprise, the Scottish Government's enterprise agency, via the Scottish Investment Bank.

In addition, Aquamarine Power's existing major shareholders (SSE, ABB and Scottish Enterprise) are working together to develop a further funding package of £18 million to take the company to commercialisation in 2014.

Today's announcement was made by Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond MSP during his opening address at the Scottish Low Carbon Investment Conference, held in Edinburgh.

The First Minister said:

"In Scotland we have shown that where the public sector provides the right conditions and works strategically with industry, that investment and jobs follow.  This has been evident in several sectors, including in marine energy, which will make an important contribution to us achieving our 2020 target to generate the equivalent of 100% of electricity demand from renewables.  That is why I am delighted to announce that Aquamarine Power, one of Scotland's great green energy success stories, is today celebrating a further investment of £7 million to help it take another step towards the commercialisation of its Oyster wave energy technology. This is great news for Scotland's world-leading wave power industry and a clear signal to the wider energy and investment community that marine technologies can be compelling investment propositions."

The news follows the announcement earlier this month of a £3.4 million loan from Barclays to Aquamarine Power to part-finance the completion of a 2.4MW Oyster array, located at the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC), Orkney - the first deal of its kind in the sector.

This latest funding round sends a strong signal to the market to encourage investment in the growing marine energy sector. Recent analysis by the Carbon Trust predicts that a thriving marine energy sector could generate up to £76 billion to the UK economy by 2050, supporting over 68,000 UK jobs. Their report 'Accelerating marine energy' determines the UK's best marine energy sites could generate electricity at costs comparable with nuclear and onshore wind by 2025.