An Inverness-based marine technology company which is currently testing a new wave-power machine on Loch Ness was praised yesterday after being visited by Highland MSP Peter Peacock.
He described AWS Ocean Energy as “innovative and forward-looking” after seeing the company’s testing site on Loch Ness where a scaled-down device is on trial.
Mr Peacock said: “AWS Ocean Energy has told me of its future growth and development plans, securing more high-end local jobs in a sector that is potentially very significant for the future economic development of the Highlands.”
“The prototype ring-shaped AWS-III device currently deployed in the loch’s waters is a small-scale version of the utility scale 2.5MW devices that the company plans to eventually build.
“As a company it is currently building stronger ties with academia and it continues to leverage private sector investment as evidenced by its success in securing investment from Scottish Enterprise’s co-investment fund and further private investment from the Shell Technology Ventures Fund.
“It is precisely the type of company with precisely the type of product that we need to drive the marine energy sector forward in the Highlands and I have been very impressed with its sub-system tests and, hopefully, this will lead to future progressive scale tests.”
Chief executive Simon Grey said: “In developing the design of the AWS-III, we believe we have addressed the fundamental barriers to delivering practical wave energy.
“We have eliminated moving mechanical parts in contact with sea water by using a novel system of flexible diaphragms arranged around a steel hull and incorporating air turbines.
“It’s refreshing to see that our years of quiet research are being recognised by the public, and that we are receiving the vital home support that we need to make our contribution to the development of the Highland economy.”