Wave Energy Scotland awards US$3.5 million for WEC development

Wave Energy Scotland (WES), a subsidiary of Highlands and Island Enterprise (HIE), has awarded about US$3.5 million to a magnetic gear project being led by Aberdeenshire, Scotland-based Ecosse Subsea Systems (Ecosse).

According to an announcement from HIE, WES is in the final stage of its Power Take-Off (PTO) program being developed to suit a variety of wave energy converters.

In March 2017, HydroWorld.com reported WES awarded a total of $9.2 million for PTO projects in stage No. 3 of its wave energy program, which will be completed by 2019 and involve 15 organizations from across Scotland.

The selected Ecosse project is a collaboration with Bathwick Electrical Design Ltd., Supply Design Ltd. and Pure Marine Gen Ltd.

Tim Hurst, WES managing director, said, “This project has the very real potential to result in a robust system for harnessing wave movement and converting it to electricity. Crucially, it will be capable of surviving harsh marine conditions and compatible with a wide variety of wave devices. We very much look forward to following its progress.”

HIE said the University of Edinburgh and Applied Renewables Research Ltd. have been sub-contracted to provide additional support.

Ecosse expanding role
In addition to the work it is leading for the WES project, Ecosse technology used to prepare the seabed in the marine and hydrokinetic industry will likely have an expanded role in the renewable energy market.

On March 5, Oceaneering International Inc. announced one of its wholly owned subsidiaries acquired Ecosse for about $69 million. Oceaneering is based in Houston, Texas, in the southern U.S. near the Texas Gulf Coast.

In a press release, Roderick A. Larson, Oceaneering president and CEO, said, “We are pleased to complete the acquisition of Ecosse.” The move is meant to expand the company’s service line capabilities and increase its market position within the offshore renewable energy industry.

In addition to its offshore engineering, Ecosse builds and operates seabed preparation, route clearance and trenching tools for submarine cables and pipelines.

One of the enabling technologies acquired in the transaction includes Ecosse’s modular SCAR Seabed System, capable of completing the entire trenching work scope (i.e., route preparation, boulder clearance, trenching and backfill). 

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Gregory B. Poindexter formerly was an associate editor for HydroWorld.com.

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