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Innovative wave energy array to be trialled off Orkney

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A trailblazing multi-megawatt wave energy array is to be trialled in the North Sea, off the coast of Orkney.

Marine Power Systems, of Wales, has signed up to demonstrate the system at the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC).

The Swansea-based marine energy developer will bring its first commercial-scale array to the testing facility in 2025.

It will occupy two berths at EMEC’s Billia Croo wave test site, to the west of Orkney.

How PelaGen will work

The PelaGen wave energy converter (WEC) design has a unique mechanism that enables it to harness power during the heave and surge of a wave.

Each device is designed to capture over a megawatt of power and will be deployed on Marine Power’s modular floating platform, PelaFlex.

Based on a tetrahedral design to provide enhanced stability, the platform has a low overall steel mass with only 10 primary, and four distinct, parts.

PelaFlex has been designed to deliver low cost across the entire product lifecycle.

The rigorous sea conditions and grid connection at EMEC’s Billia Croo test site will enable Marine Power to test its device in seas with some of the highest wave energy potential in Europe.

Any green electricity produced during the demonstration will be fed into the national grid.

Setting an example for the wave energy sector

Gareth Stockman, chief executive at Marine Power said: “We are thrilled to be demonstrating our first pre-commercial array at EMEC. The project represents another significant step forward for the business and our progress towards market readiness.

“This array demonstration will support the ongoing development of our technology and its functionality to ensure that the commercial arrays delivered at increasing scale represent the most robust, reliable and cost-effective devices on the market. The project will also deliver further research and development around manufacturing and the real-world deployment of our technology at commercial scale.”

Rob Flynn, commercial manager for EMEC said: “Marine Power Systems’ approach to technology development is rigorous and impressive, and we are delighted to support the next stage of their development with this pre-commercial project.

“These are the type of projects which the wave energy sector needs to undertake to show that it can deliver clean renewable energy to the electrical grid and make a significant contribution to net-zero.”

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