U.K.’s Aquamarine, Airtricity plan 1,000 MW of ocean energy

Scotland-based wave and tidal power developer Aquamarine Power Ltd. and renewable energy developer Airtricity have agreed to form a joint venture to develop 1,000 MW of wave and tidal energy sites in the British Isles by 2020.

Aquamarine, an affiliate of Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE), and Airtricity, a division of SSE, said February 23 the 50-50 joint venture will develop sites off the United Kingdom and Ireland. They said work on the first two sites has begun, with plans to advance additional sites over three years.

Aquamarine said it is pursuing a similar contract for marine energy in southern Europe. Aquamarine already plans to install its wave and tidal power devices for comprehensive testing at the European Marine Energy Center at Orkney, Scotland. (HNN 1/13/09)

“This contract is the biggest deal in the history of marine energy,” Aquamarine Chief Executive Martin McAdam said. “Fully consented offshore wind farm sites are selling to owner-operators at anywhere between 150,000 and 400,000 pounds (US$216,000 and US$576,000) per MW consented, giving a strong indication of the large potential value of this deal if all 1,000 MW of sites receive full consents and grid connection.”

The companies plan to deliver marine energy sites suitable for deploying Aquamarine technologies, including its Oyster wave power device and Neptune tidal power device. The firms plan to work with stakeholders to choose sites based on local economic benefits, environmental protection, and clean energy.

“Following the significant investments made by our parent company, Scottish and Southern Energy, in Aquamarine and their technology, this is the next logical step: to provide a route to market for their promising Oyster and Neptune technologies,” Airtricity Director Stephen Wheeler said.

Wheeler said the agreement gives Airtricity, a wind and hydro developer, a first option on sites developed with Aquamarine expertise.

Aquamarine forms research pact with Northern Ireland university

Aquamarine announced in February it agreed to a five-year research partnership with the Wave Power Research Group of Queen’s University Belfast, in Northern Ireland. The partners are to cooperate to develop the next generation of the Oyster wave energy device.

Aquamarine and Queen’s already have delivered feasibility studies, tank testing, and numerical modeling for the first Oyster prototype, to be launched in 2009 at the European Marine Energy Center.

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