Projects:  West coast, Orkney

Wave power on the west coast of Orkney

We have been granted, in partnership with SSE Renewables, an exclusive lease option on an area of seabed off the west coast of Orkney.  This allows us to start working with stakeholders on the first phase of our proposed Oyster wave farm.

We are currently conducting technical and environmental surveys to assess the feasibility of installing Oyster wave energy devices along a stretch of Orkney's coastline from Costa Head in the north to Neban Point in the south-west.

Working with local communities

In conjunction with our survey work, we are following statutory environmental impact assessment and permitting processes.  These processes will ensure our proposed Oyster wave power project is developed sensitively and with due consideration to the local environment and community. We are working in close consultation with key local stakeholders and government bodies and will continue to do so as our proposed project progresses.

We have appointed Orkney-based environmental consultancy Xodus Environment to independently assess any potential environmental impact of our proposed Oyster wave power project and to work with us to mitigate any such impact.   We are also working with a number of local surveyors to collect baseline data on the local bird and marine mammal populations present in the area.

World's first seabed leasing round

Aquamarine Power was awarded the exclusive lease option on this area of seabed in partnership with SSE Renewables in March 2010 as part of The Crown Estate's Pentland Firth and Orkney Waters leasing round.  This leasing round was the world's first seabed leasing round, which was designed to enable marine energy developers such as Aquamarine Power to investigate the potential for the installation of marine energy devices around Britain's coastline. The Crown Estate owns the seabed around Britain out to 12 nautical miles.

We are working in partnership with SSE Renewables under the joint venture name Brough Head Wave Farm Limited (BHWFL).  SSE Renewables is part of SSE (Scottish and Southern Energy plc).


  • 200MW seabed leaseSecured Lease Option Agreement from Crown Estate, March 2010
  • Environmental monitoringMonitoring of wildlife began July 2009; ongoing
  • Environmental Impact Assessment Scoping ReportSubmitted to Marine Scotland August 2011
  • Environmental Impact Assessment Scoping OpinionReceived from Marine Scotland on 21 November 2011
Bobby Forbes, Manager
SULA Diving has been working with Aquamarine Power since 2006 carrying out seabed surveys and deploying Acoustic Doppler Current Profilers to measure wave conditions. We are glad to be working with Aquamarine Power in the early stages of the marine renewables industry and appreciate that they recognised our local knowledge and expertise and choose to work with us local companies whenever they can.
Bobby Forbes, Manager
SULA Diving, Stromness, Orkney
Nick Card, Senior Project Manager
ORCA has built a strong working relationship with Aquamarine Power since we began providing archaeological and geophysical consultancy services for them in 2009. At ORCA we have worked hard to build a reputation for integrity and trust. It's great to work with an organisation like Aquamarine Power whose values align with our own.
Nick Card, Senior Project Manager
Orkney Research Centre for Archaeology, Kirkwall, Orkney

Key project contact

Marc Murray

Marc Murray
Marc is our senior site developer and is responsible for managing our site development team. Prior to joining us in 2010, Marc worked at Dounreay nuclear site for 11 years holding a number of project management roles.

As the lead industry partner in the Hebridean Marine Energy Futures project we can see clearly the economic and social benefits that could be generated in the Western Isles through a thriving marine energy industry. It is vital to recognise though that we are new arrivals on these islands. We are a young industry and we need to develop our plans in partnership with the people who live here.