BAE signs partnership agreement

26 Jul 10

BAE Systems has joined forces with us as part of a project worth almost £1 million to deliver cheaper, more reliable sources of clean energy for homes across the UK and beyond.

The Technology Strategy Board has awarded a £450,000 grant for the project, which Aquamarine Power and BAE Systems have match-funded.  This funding will support a 30 month research, development and demonstration project to enable large-scale commercial production of our Oyster wave energy converter.

Driving innovation

Under our partnership, engineers at BAE Systems who are usually involved in the design, repair and maintenance of complex naval systems, will work with us to develop an intelligent diagnostic system and remote ballasting mechanism for our Oyster wave energy technology.  These innovations will drive down maintenance costs and help to maximise energy production, paving the way for our ground-breaking technology to be rolled out on a commercial scale to establish Oyster wave farms around the world.

Speaking about our partnership, Kevin McLeod, Engineering Director at BAE Systems' Surface Ships division, said:

"This is a great opportunity for us to apply skills developed in naval design and the management of large complex maritime engineering programmes to support the emerging marine energy industry.

"In working with Aquamarine Power as a partner, we are helping to pioneer commercial clean energy solutions that will help the UK meet its ambitious climate change targets."

"The Oyster system works well," said our CEO, Martin McAdam. "Our next step is to drive down the cost of electricity generated from wave power through improvements in Oyster's reliability and reduced maintenance costs.

Engineering excellence

"BAE Systems is a fantastic company with extensive experience in marine systems performance modelling and analysis. Our companies are very different in size, but we share a passion for engineering excellence and a belief in the global potential of wave energy. We are grateful to the Technology Strategy Board for providing the grant funding which has enabled this collaboration to take place."

Iain Gray, Chief Executive of the Technology Strategy Board, said:

"By 2050 we are going to have very different energy needs than we have today and we will be getting our energy from different sources.  The UK is well placed to exploit wave and tidal stream energy resources with all of the coast line that we have, and it is expected this kind of technology will be an important part of the renewable energy mix needed in the future.

"We still need to prove which technological solutions will most successfully harness marine energy and we need to reduce the cost of the energy produced to make the technology competitive with other renewable energy solutions. So there are a range of technological challenges to address."