Keith Findlay, 3rd July 2012
Orkney firm Orcades Marine Management Consultants has installed a new wave-energy device offshore of the islands for Finnish company Wello.
It is the second marine renewable-energy prototype machine Orcades has put in the water at the European Marine Energy Centre’s Billia Croo test site near Stromness.
Last autumn, the company managed the deployment of the Flumill 2 device, a joint Norwegian-UK effort involving Fife firm flumill.
Now Wello’s 1,500-tonne Penguin wave-energy converter is floating and connected to a mooring system at Billia Croo.
Wello said that, after careful planning, installing the device took only 36 hours. It added: “Initial results confirm efficient rotating movement of the device, even in smaller waves than originally anticipated.
“Installation will be followed by data collection and performance optimisation based on the data.”
Wello chief executive Aki Luukkainen said: “We are proud to be one of the few companies to have a full-size, wave-energy converter deployed.”
Heikki Paakkinen, the Finnish company’s founder, said: “I was surprised by the ease of the deployment. Once everything was well prepared and planned, there were no major surprises.”
Wello built the full-scale prototype Penguin in Latvia and had been modifying the machine at Lyness on Hoy since last summer.
Backed by about £5.6million of funding, the device is expected to produce at least half a mega-watt (MW) and potentially 1MW of electricity.
Orcades managing director David Thomson said its successful installation was true testament to all local Orkney-based businesses involved, adding: “We are looking forward to seeing it produce sustainable energy by harnessing one of Orkney’s greatest assets, the ocean.”
Orcades provides marine project management and consultancy services to ports and the offshore renewable-energy and shipping sectors.
Ensuring north-east businesses are ready to take advantage of potentially lucrative opportunities within the supply chain for the renewable-energy sector is to be the focus of a conference in Dundee tomorrow.
More than 100 companies are expected to attend the seminar at the Apex Hotel where they will be given a view of what the Scottish renewables industry will need in support, skills and services as it matures.
Energy provider SSE is investigating the possibility of creating a turbine manufacturing base at the port of Dundee and there are major renewables focused projects being developed in Fife.