'Squid' tests new marine energy facilities in Orkney

The European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) is opening new nursery testing grounds at its marine energy test facilities in Orkney.

Scottish company AlbaTERN will be one of the first to use the facilities to test a new scalable wave energy converter called SQUID.

The technology has been in development for four years the company is now hoping to attain independent verification of its performance at sea we'll gain by testing the device at the EMEC facility.

The SQUID device is so called as it has the appearance of a squid, especially when under tow with its link arms trailing behind.

Once on site, an inflatable absorber that looks like a large balloon is filled with water.

Sitting just under the surface, the absorber is moved by passing waves - and the energy from this motion drives a generator to produce electricity.

The SQUID is designed to produce up to 10 kilowatts (kW) of electricity.

AlbaTERN chief financial officer David Campbell said: "It's cheap to build and cheap to deploy, operate and maintain.

"Single devices could be used to provide electricity for an individual home, for remote communities close to the sea, or for other off-grid users such as fish farms. We're getting interest from worldwide."

EMEC also provides offshore test sites where full size wave and tidal devices feed electricity into the National Grid while undergoing test programmes designed to demonstrate their energy generating capabilities.

EMEC managing director, Neil Kermode, said: "It's vital that developers have the opportunity to literally get metal wet.

"These new sites open the way for marine energy technologies to undergo sea trials in more gentle conditions than those experienced at our main wave and tidal test sites - we're responding to the needs of developers in opening the new sites." Alison Brown


| offshore | renewables



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