Commenting on the news today from the European Marine Energy Centre in
Orkney where Ocean Power Delivery's Pelamis wave machine has delivered
its first electricity generation into the UK grid - the first from an
offshore wave machine in the UK.
BWEA's Marine Renewables Development
Manager Michael Hay said:
"This is fantastic news for renewable energy in the UK. We have one of
the best wave resources in Europe and a high concentration of the most
committed engineering teams in place to help maximise the potential
within this huge source of clean energy. With this major step towards
commercialisation OPD have shown that continued support for this
emerging power sector is essential to ensure wave power follows in the
footsteps of wind and becomes a readily available commercial
More information on wave energy can be found at
Orkney, Monday, 23rd August 2004 - Ocean Power Delivery's Pelamis, the
world's first commercial-scale floating Wave Energy Converter (WEC),
successfully installed at the newly opened European Marine Energy Centre
(EMEC) in Orkney and completed its first week of electricity generation
into the UK grid.
Ocean Power Delivery Ltd (OPD), based in Edinburgh, has developed the
Pelamis system over the past six years. Building on technology developed
for the offshore industry, each Pelamis machine has a rated power output
of 750kW. The machine's electricity generation is expected to be
sufficient to meet the annual electricity needs of over 500 UK
Since its launch earlier this year the Pelamis has undergone extensive
sea-trials to test and commission systems prior to installation at EMEC
and connection to the grid.
On the 14th August the Far Scout anchor-handling vessel towed the
machine into position where it was connected to its pre-placed moorings.
At 3:35am on Sunday 15th August the transformer was energised and at
6:10am control passed to the control room at EMEC in Stromness. The
first offshore wave energy was sent to the grid at 9:55pm the same day.
The Pelamis WEC is the first full-scale machine to be installed at the
test centre. EMEC will provide the facility for independent verification
and testing of full scale, grid connected marine energy machines. Jim
Wallace MSP, Deputy First Minister of Scotland, officially opened EMEC
on 10th August. The event attracted significant international interest
with over 100 visitors from around the world viewing EMEC and the
Pelamis WEC prior to installation.
Richard Yemm, Managing Director of OPD said:
"Installation of the Pelamis prototype at EMEC went smoothly, and it is
tremendously exciting to generate our first power into the grid. We look
forward to fully characterising the performance of the machine over the
coming months, and to using the results from EMEC to underpin the
construction of the first commercial Pelamis wave farms"
"EMEC has provided an ideal testing environment, and we are delighted
with the performance of the machine. However, we will be taking no
chances and will shortly be recovering the machine to shore, to carry
out a full inspection of all systems before redeployment for further
Andrew Mill, Managing Director of EMEC said:
"It was extremely satisfying to witness the closing of the circuit
breaker at EMEC connecting Pelamis to the UK grid. The excitement was
made all the more tangible by seeing the meters register the first
electric power flowing into the UK grid from an offshore wave powered
renewable energy device. What was also impressive was the
professionalism and apparent ease with which the team carried out this
work. EMEC now looks forward to a period of intensive testing of
1. The Pelamis machine being tested at EMEC is a pre-production
prototype. Satisfactory testing of the system is expected to lead to the
first commercial orders being placed for multi-machine projects or
'wave-farms' consisting of a number of machines interlinked sharing a
common sub-sea cable back to shore. As an example a 30MW wave farm would
consist of 40 machines occupying approximately one square kilometre,
providing sufficient electricity for over 20,000 households.
Ocean Power Delivery (www.oceanpd.com): Max Carcas Tel. +44 (0)131 554
8444 EMEC (www.emec.org.uk): Andrew Mill Tel. +44 (0)1856 852 060