Wave energy project secures €800,000 grant

Aquamarine Power and the National University of Ireland, Maynooth (NUIM) have secured European funding to help develop their Oyster wave energy converter. 

Aquamarine Power has already built and operated two full-scale Oyster machines at the European Marine Energy Centre in Orkney.

The money from EU Horizon 2020 will enable three PhD researchers to explore ways to optimise the energy capture and economic performance of Oyster. 

As part of the three-year programme, each researcher will split their time between Aquamarine Power and NUIM's Centre for Ocean Energy Research in County Kildare, west of Dublin.

"Aquamarine Power's aim is to become the world's leading supplier of utility-scale wave farm power stations,” said Aquamarine Power Chief Executive Officer Paddy O'Kane.

“With the survivability and performance potential of our Oyster wave technology now largely proven following four years of continuous deployment at the European Marine Energy Centre in Orkney we are significantly advanced towards that goal. This collaboration with NUIM will now help us focus on driving down costs and further improving performance.

"We have been working informally and sharing our experience with NUIM for a number of years. We believe their research centre and team are at the very forefront of innovation in wave energy device optimisation and control. We very much look forward to working with them on this exciting new research programme with very clear academic and commercial goals - to significantly advance the efficiency and economic performance of future Oyster wave farm power stations," Mr O'Kane added.

Jamie Hailstone is a freelance journalist and author, specializing in local government, transport and energy issues