Aquamarine Power Receives New Round of Investments for their Wave Power System
A Scottish wave power company has announced that it has received an additional $14.7 million in funding for continued development of their “Oyster” wave technology.
Aquamarine’s Oyster wave power device has a large hinged flap that moves with the waves and drives hydraulic pistons that push high pressure water onto shore to a hydro-electric turbine. The company’s first Oyster wave converter was deployed off the coast of Scotland in 2009 and has been providing power to the country’s grid. Now Aquamarine is working on the next generation of this technology, which it plans to commercialize.
SSE Venture Capital, the VC arm of Scottish clean power company SSE Renewables, also participated in Aquamarine’s recent round, and SSE Renewables has been working with the company to co-develop up to 1 GW of Oyster sites. Aquamarine says the joint venture is building a 2 MW demonstration site planned for 2011, which will be expanded to 10 MW in 2012, and eventually 200 MW.
As the article states shortly afterward, wave and tidal power is in its very beginning stages of development with many hurdles. However, the potential for wave and tidal energy sources is vast. Compared to wind or solar, wave power has the potential to be constant, no matter if rain or shine or calm air. But it is this constant power that developers have to take into account to build sturdy enough equipment.
Nevertheless, just as with algae biofuels, wave and tidal power sources have a lot of potential once the technology has been successfully developed.