A HIGHLAND marine energy firm aims to carry on with what is claimed to be one of the world’s largest wave projects after losing the backing of German company RWE.
Voith Hydro Wavegen, the Inverness-based subsidiary of German business Voith, had been working with RWE npower renewables on the Siadar project off the Western Isles.
RWE was awarded £6million of Scottish Government funding towards the construction of the project in July last year.
At the time, an RWE spokesman warned there were still commercial challenges and issues over grid connection and securing suppliers, but said it was confident these could be overcome.
The technology uses the action of waves to compress and decompress air to power a turbine.
Voith chief executive Matthew Seed said yesterday the Siadar project was still going ahead.
He added: “Voith is continuing to pursue the Siadar project. We are discussing it with several possible partners.”
Earlier this month, Voith technology was used in what was said to be the world’s first commercial wave power plant in Mutriku, Spain.
Mr Seed said a separate collaboration with RWE, a joint-venture called Voith Hydro Ocean Current Technologies, was “moving forward swiftly”.
The first test turbine for this project, a subsurface turbine technology, is to be installed at the European Marine Energy Centre on Orkney.
“The test operations will provide valuable knowledge and experience, opening the way for the commercial use of this technology in the near future,” said Mr Seed.
A spokesman for RWE said: “RWE Innogy, although no longer proceeding with the Siadar project, continues to work closely together with Voith, and will focus upon marine tidal current technology.” It would not comment on the value of its support for Siardar.