|Scotland Waves Hello to Clean Energy|
By Andrew Donoghue
August 7, 2008
Wave turbine hopes to provide prototype for 4MW project
A 100KW wave turbine project off the coast of Scotland has begun operating in
what backers hope will be a blueprint for a more significant scheme in the near future.
The Wavegen 100KW turbine, sited off the coast of Inverness, was developed by
Voith Siemens Hydro, owners of Wavegen, with support from the Scottish
Government's Wave and Tidal Energy Support scheme.
The turbine is installed in Wavegen's Limpet facility on the island of Islay and
is the prototype for the Siadar Wave Energy Project, backed by npower renewables
amongst others. The Siadar project, under development on Scotland's largest
island, the Isle of Lewis, aims to harness wave power from the Atlantic ocean in
Siadar bay to generate up to 4MW of electricity, according to the scheme's backers.
"With this new turbine Wavegen has extended the range of application for wave
energy plants to include more energetic and hence more economically attractive
environments," said Dr Roland Muench, chief executive officer of Voith Siemens Hydro.
The electricity produced from the Siadar project each year could supply the
average needs of around 1,500 homes on the islands of Lewis and Harris,
according to the company. Work could start on the project next year, if plans
are approved by the Scottish government.
Wavegen claims that its Limpet facility is the the world's first commercial wave
installation that generates energy for the grid.
The announcement provides further evidence that the UK's marine energy sector is
beginning to find its feet. It comes less than a month after tidal energy
specialist Marine Current Turbines announced it had successfully fed energy from
its SeaGen tidal turbine in Northern Ireland's Strangford Lough for the first
time. The 1. 2MW turbine is now expected to come fully online later this summer.