Two Scottish companies have been awarded £7.7 million to build and test wave energy machines at the European Marine Energy Centre in Orkney.
This funding will enable the firms to test the devices, which are scheduled to take to the sea in 2020, in real ocean conditions.
Mocean’s ‘Blue Horizon’ device is a floating hinged structure, while AWS has developed a fully-submerged point absorber named the ‘Archimedes Waveswing.’
The winning designs were selected following assessment using Wave Energy Scotland’s ‘stage gate’ selection process, which assessed some of the most innovative concepts before they advanced to the next funding stage.
During an extensive process lasting four years, eight Wave Energy Converter (WEC) concepts were narrowed down to four.
Independent external experts, along with the organisations’ staff, evaluated each submission, identifying Mocean and AWS Ocean Energy’s devices as the two most promising concepts.
Commenting on the funding awards, Wave Energy Scotland’s managing director, Tim Hurst, said: “These state-of-the-art designs represent the most advanced and innovative devices in the UK today, and our programme is ensuring that Scotland stays front and centre of the global wave energy story.
“Both devices have already proved their suitability during tank testing and in modelling, and the next step is to test them in real-sea conditions. This funding will allow both companies to further develop their designs before building and testing the prototypes in Orkney in 2020, where marine engineering expertise is plentiful.”
Established by the Scottish Government in 2014, Wave Energy Scotland has provided more than £30 million to develop commercially available wave energy technologies and sub-systems.
Paul Wheelhouse, Minister for Energy, Connectivity and the Islands, commented: “With 465,000 square kilometres of sea in Scotland’s Exclusive Economic Zone, Scotland’s capacity to generate wave power is very considerable indeed, and wave energy devices represent real game-changers for the industry not only here in Scotland but on a global scale.
Wheelhouse added: “The deployment of these two devices will represent a strategically important milestone for Scotland, demonstrating technical progress that will support identification of the most cost-effective technologies and encouraging private sector investment in this emerging industry.”