Wave energy company Aquamarine Power is visiting Shetland today to explore the potential for developing a wave power project off the west coast of the isles.
Representatives of the Edinburgh-based company are in Lerwick to meet the Shetland Marine Renewable Energy Group (SMREG) to discuss issues affecting the renewable energy industry such as grid infrastructure and marine planning.
SMREG is made up of representatives from various bodies including Shetland Charitable Trust, the SIC, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, SNH and NAFC Marine Centre.
Aquamarine Power will also be given a tour which will include visits to Scalloway Harbour, the NAFC Marine Centre and Lerwick Port Authority.
The company plans to make contact with as many local people as possible to take advice on the most suitable locations for developing a wave energy project.
Senior site developer Marc Murray said: “We are delighted to be in Shetland this week and to have the opportunity to discuss the potential to bring wave energy to the Shetland Isles. We are keen to speak to as many local people as possible to help us identify potential areas for installing an array of our Oyster wave power devices.
“The Shetland Isles has some of the best wave resource in the world. We think the marine renewables industry offers terrific potential for the islands but at this early stage it is essential that we work closely with the local community and key stakeholders to ensure the sustainable and responsible development of any proposed Oyster wave energy project.”
SMREG chairwoman Ann Black said: “The group welcomes Aquamarine Power’s interest in Shetland as a potential location for an array of Oyster wave energy devices. We are delighted to meet with representatives from the company today and look forward to working closely with the Aquamarine Power team over the coming months to develop Shetland’s nascent marine energy industry.”
Aquamarine Power has offices in Edinburgh, Orkney and Oregon, USA. The company successfully installed its Oyster 1 wave energy device at the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) in Orkney in 2009 and plans to install its next-generation Oyster 2 in Orkney this year.
Aquamarine Power worked with over 30 local firms and spent over £2 million in the Orkney economy during the installation of its first Oyster device and continues to source much of the goods and services it requires from within Orkney as the company progresses with the development of its Oyster 2 device.