Wave power plant upgrades after good start
ORKNEY’S marine power generator Oyster 800 has had a “promising” start, producing some world-beating results.
The plant, at the European Marine Energy Centre, was installed in February and will be upgraded over the summer. Last week chief executive of Aquamarine Power, Martin McAdam said: “The concept works. The Oyster 800 structure has performed well in the most arduous storm conditions.
“We are now starting to see some very promising power production figures – including sustained generation of 1M Whin a five-hour period.” That figure is thought to be the highest sustained power output of any wave energy machine in the world.
Results released by the company also show that the generator coped with waves of up to nine metres.
“We have learned a tremendous amount about how Oyster operates in real sea conditions,” said Mr McAdam. The Oyster will now be shut down in order to make improve- ments. Many components had been less reliable than hoped in the hostile environment and only one of the two power production cylinders had been operating. Work will take place on several key elements of the generator in a bid to improve the near-shore wave technology.
Mr McAdam added: “We believe this is the best and most cost-effective way of using what we have learned so far to improve the Oyster 800’s performance and reliability. Our goal is to have the Oyster 800 operating with increased reliability through the coming winter.
“The Oyster concept is now proven. I’d like to thank our investors for their support and patience and the team at Aquamarine Power for their commitment and endurance. Our focus is now on improving the reliability, performance and reducing the cost of the technology. Our ultimate goal is an industry in Scotland producing commercially competitive wave energy machines in the years ahead.”