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Blog: WATERS fund provides £3.7m for testing marine energy prototypes

Scotland’s marine energy sector has benefited from WATERS funding of almost £3.7million to further test and develop new marine energy prototypes in the seas around Scotland. Awards have been made to three companies – Albatern, Nova Innovation and Sustainable Marine Energy – to support total project costs of £7million for the development of new wave & tidal energy devices.

This is the third round from the remaining competitive funding from the initial WATERS fund, which was developed in conjunction with Scottish Government and Highlands and Islands Enterprise. It follows the success of the first two rounds of WATERS where six marine energy developers benefitted from £7.1m of WATERS funding towards total project costs of £15 million to further develop testing of new marine energy prototypes.

Eileen Linklater, EMEC’s Client Relationship and Marketing Manager, highly praises the WATERS fund, and initiative of the public sector:

“The WATERS funding provides vital support to marine energy companies enabling them to get technologies into the water for critical real-sea trials.

“Not only does this funding support technology development, but has a significant impact on the local economies where these projects are deployed with jobs being created throughout the supply chain to support developer activities. Here in Orkney the marine renewables industry is supporting around 300 jobs in around 40 different companies, all directly working in the industry.”

Welcoming the announcement, Scotland’s Energy Minister, Fergus Ewing said:

“The Scottish Government and its enterprise agencies are working hard to ensure that small and medium-sized businesses in Scotland are well placed to take advantage of the opportunities presented by the low-carbon economy. WATERS is designed to foster a culture of innovation and research and development, and I am very pleased that as well as supporting two Scottish ocean power companies [Albatern and Nova Innovation], we are assisting a third from the Isle of Wight [Sustainable Marine Energy] to set up a production hub in Scotland. I am determined that we make the most of the clean, secure and abundant energy stored in the waters around our coasts and these three companies are developing pioneering technologies to help us do that.”

The three successful projects are:

  • Albatern: awarded £1.8m towards a total project cost of £3.5 million for the build and demonstration of a larger Squid device.
  • Nova Innovation: awarded £573k towards a total project cost of £998k for direct drive tidal turbine development and demonstration.
  • Sustainable Marine Energy: awarded funding of £1.3m towards a total project cost of £2.5m for an array demonstrator project of its PLAT-O tidal energy platform technology. The company is establishing an operational and production hub in Scotland as a result of the funding.

Jason Hayman, Managing Director at Sustainable Marine Energy, said:

“We are very encouraged by the support and commitment that the Scottish Government is giving to the tidal energy sector and that it recognises the significant cost reductions that the next generation of tidal energy systems can deliver. The support from WATERS3 enables us to continue our scalable and modular approach to development and ultimately to deliver commercially viable tidal energy.”

Calum Davidson, Director of energy and low carbon at Highlands and Islands Enterprise, said:

“We welcome the announcement of the WATERS 3 funding and warmly congratulate each of the successful companies. The Highlands and Islands already boasts an enviable international reputation in the development of marine renewable energy. This is underlined by today’s announcement of another company investing in our region and offering significant supply chain opportunities. This latest round of funding will back the development of the marine energy industry across Scotland and further support the deployment of devices at the European Marine Energy Centre and throughout Scottish waters.”

WATERS 3 is a collaborative venture between Scottish Enterprise, Scottish Government and Highlands and Islands Enterprise.

Source: HIE press release

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