The opening today (November 20) of the Oyster energy generator was done by Scotland’s first minister, Alex Salmond, at the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) in Orkney.

The device, developed by wave energy company Aquamarine Power, is currently the world’s only hydro-electric wave energy equipment which is producing power, according to the firm.

The Oyster launch took place at EMEC’s Billia Croo site near Stromness, where the device was installed this summer.

Oyster is now producing power by pumping high pressure water to its onshore hydro-electric turbine.

This will be fed into the national grid to power homes in Orkney and around Scotland, with plans to add more in the future.

Speaking at the launch Mr Salmond said: “This is a key milestone for Aquamarine Power and for Scotland’s marine renewables sector.

“Scotland’s potential renewables capacity is estimated to be around 60GW, our waters hold around 10% of Europe’s wave power potential and as much as a quarter of its tidal power potential.

“I am delighted to confirm further R&D funding of almost £1m to Aquamarine Power for the development of Oyster 2, which could be installed within two years.

Chief executive of Aquamarine Power, Martin McAdam, said: “This is a fantastic day for the wave energy industry and for Aquamarine Power.

“We have proved what we always believed – that wave energy can produce sustainable zero-emission electricity to power our homes.

“The UK has one of the best wave resources in the world, now it also has the best technology.”

“The announcement of nearly £1m Scottish Enterprise funding is very welcome and will enable Aquamarine Power to attract further inward investment for the successful development of the next-generation commercial-scale oyster.”

Luke Walsh

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