E.ON, one of the UK’s leading renewable energy companies, has today formally unveiled its first wave power generator in the UK.
Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond officially launched and named the Vagr Atferd (Norse for wave power) P2 wave energy converter. The machine, designed and constructed by Pelamis, is capable of generating 750kW of renewable energy and will be installed and tested at the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) in Orkney.
At the launch ceremony at Leith Port in Edinburgh, Dr Paul Golby, Chief Executive of E.ON UK, said: “We’re delighted to be a part of such an innovative project. The event marks a milestone in marine technology and the next exciting step for renewable energy in the UK.
“It’s essential that we continue to invest in new technologies, like the Vagr Atferd, to harness the power of nature and to accelerate our transition to a low carbon economy.
“Today’s launch is a celebration of the successes we’ve seen with renewables and a clear example of the changing shape of the UK energy industry – there is a real potential for the UK to lead the marine energy sector.”
The installation of the Pelamis wave energy converter at EMEC will be the first time that the P2 machine has been tested anywhere in the world and also represents the UK’s first commercial supply contract within the marine energy sector.
Rt Hon Alex Salmond, the First Minister of Scotland, said: “Scotland is well-placed to become the clean, green energy powerhouse of Europe, with as much as 10 per cent of its wave power potential, as well as an estimated one quarter of the continent’s offshore wind and tidal energy capacity.”
“Today is another significant step in that journey. It is also testament to E.ON’s strong global commitment to renewable energy generation and to the ambition and innovation of Pelamis in pioneering its internationally-renowned wave energy technology.
“I’m delighted that the completed P2 wave energy converter is now ready for deployment at the European Marine Energy Centre and pleased to officially name the device Vagr Atferd.”
Tom Delay, chief executive of the Carbon Trust, which awarded Pelamis funding from the Marine Renewables Proving Fund to develop and test the P2 device, said:
“This is another important landmark which shows the UK’s marine energy industry is rapidly coming of age. We have a clear lead in this sector and must now capitalise on this to secure maximum benefit in creating new jobs and revenue for the UK. Having supported Pelamis with funding from the Marine Renwables Proving Fund, we look forward to continuing to work with them and E.ON testing the device and bringing it a step closer to commercial deployment.”
The device is 180m long – or as long as the Gherkin building in London is tall – and weighs approximately 1,500 tonnes.
The machine was named by Matthew Rendall of Stromness Primary School in Orkney, following a competition. Matthew and his family joined the First Minister at the port where he officially launched and named the device.
E.ON currently owns and operates 21 wind farms from Cornwall to Kintyre, including Robin Rigg in the Solway Firth, which is one of the UK’s largest offshore wind farms. E.ON is also a partner in the London Array, which will be the world’s largest offshore wind farm when complete, together with DONG Energy and Masdar.