It was a year and a half ago that we first reported on Aquamarine Power, a company based in Scotland that developed an interesting wave energy device which it called the “Oyster”. We now learn that Aquamarine Power is seeking to deploy about 40 of its Oysters along the Scotland coast and it has managed to secure seabed leases to support that effort.
Today, the Oyster device looks very different than some of the wave energy competition that has been more recently developed. Whereas devices like Ocean Power Technologies’ PB150 buoy are vertically oriented and generate electricity directly from ocean movement, the Oyster sits on the sea bed and uses the ocean’s wave energy to move a hinged flap that, in turn, forces water at high pressure up to the shore where it is fed into an electrical turbine.
Aquamarine power indicates there are several hoops to jump through before it can proceed, but securing the seabed leases from seabed owner the “Crown Estate” is an important first step. The company reportedly intends to secure two leases. One is a 10 megawatt demonstration lease for a site between Siadar and Fivepenny, referred to as the Galson site; the other is a 30 megawatt lease that would occupy an area between Bàgh Dhail Beag and Tràigh Shanndaigh.
Aquamarine Power says its development has the potential to provide up to 40 megawatts of power-enough, the company says, to power about 38,000 homes. The company has also registered for the Scottish Government’s Saltire Prize, a £10 million (about $16.1 million) global prize that will be awarded to whichever wave or tidal technology that generates the greatest volume of electrical output over 100 gigawatt-hours over a continuous two year period using only the power of the sea.