A COMPANY developing ocean-going buoys that convert wave energy into electricity will test its latest technology at Emec, the Orkney-based European Marine Energy Centre.
Ocean Power Technologies (OPT) has signed an agreement for its 150-kilowatt PowerBuoy to undergo extensive trials at Emec’s wave-energy test site off Stromness. The PowerBuoy PB150 is expected to be ready for deployment next year and will feed electricity into the national grid via a subsea cable linked to Emec’s onshore power-distribution centre at Billia Croo.
Emec managing director Neil Kermode said: “This technology is exciting and will undergo full-scale testing in the unrivalled conditions we provide for developers of marine renewables.
“We are looking forward to the PowerBuoy’s arrival on site and to working closely with OPT as it tests the technology and generates electricity for the grid.”
Since 1997, OPT has been developing buoys that use on-board generators to convert the movement of ocean waves into electricity. As it moves towards producing larger commercial-scale machines, 40kW PowerBuoys have recently been installed off Hawaii and New Jersey.
Last year, OPT was awarded a grant by the Scottish Government towards the construction, installation and demonstration of the latest 150kW PowerBuoy at Emec.
It expects to deploy the PB150 in projects under development in Spain, England, France, America and Australia, plus in Scotland.
Emec – established with about £16million of funding from the Scottish Executive, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Carbon Trust, the Department for Business and Orkney Islands Council – also provides test facilities for tidal-energy devices off the island of Eday.