A Finnish marine renewables firm is to start a full-scale test of its new wave energy device off Orkney next month.
Wello Oy has been modifying its Penguin device at Lyness on the island of Hoy since it arrived last summer.
Now the firm has said it has been given approval by Marine Scotland to test the Penguin at the European Marine Energy Centre’s Billia Croo test site near Stromness.
Aki Luukkainen, the firm’s chief executive, said: “Successful testing of this device at EMEC would mean the full-scale Penguin generator is capable of deployment in larger wave energy parks worldwide.”
The Penguin is the latest device to be tested at EMEC, which has had the most wave and tidal devices being tested in one place in the world.
All eight of its tidal berths are contracted out to firms and five of its six wave berths are contracted, although not all of either are all currently occupied.
Mr Luukkainen said, if successful, the 0.5MW device would then be adjusted to make optimum use of the waves, potentially taking it to 1MW, and would then remain in the water for as long as possible to test durability.
Wello would then seek to test it in a small array and look to market the device, initially in Europe and then the US.
The company was founded in 2008 by founder Heikki Paakkinen, an architect.
The Penguin is designed to capture rotational energy generated by the movement of its asymmetrically-shaped hull.
The firm says it has focused on the design being simple and efficient. It has financing, including private investment as well as government support.
Wello built the full-scale prototype in Latvia and shipped it to Orkney.
Since arriving it has had some setbacks, including issues with the mooring system.
“But we are confident it works,” said Mr Paakkinen. “And it is strong enough. If it works, there is a market waiting for us.”