Scottish Enterprise announces latest round of WATERS funding

Scotland’s marine energy sector has benefited from WATERS funding of almost £3.7million to further test and develop new marine energy prototypes in the seas around Scotland.

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Awards have been made to three companies – Albatern, Nova Innovation and Sustainable Marine Energy – to support total project costs of £7million for the development of new wave & tidal energy devices.

This is the third round from the remaining competitive funding from the initial WATERS fund, which was developed in conjunction with Scottish Government and Highlands & Islands Enterprise.

It follows the success of the first two rounds of WATERS where six marine energy developers benefitted from £7.1m of WATERS funding towards total project costs of £15 million to further develop testing of new marine energy prototypes.

Welcoming the announcement Energy Minister Fergus Ewing said: “The Scottish Government and its enterprise agencies are working hard to ensure that small and medium-sized businesses in Scotland are well placed to take advantage of the opportunities presented by the low-carbon economy.

“WATERS is designed to foster a culture of innovation and research and development and I am very pleased that as well as supporting two Scottish ocean power companies [Albatern and Nova Innovation], we are assisting a third from the Isle of Wight [Sustainable Marine Energy] to set up a production hub in Scotland. I am determined that we make the most of the clean, secure and abundant energy stored in the waters around our coasts and these three companies are developing pioneering technologies to help us do that.”

The three successful projects are:

* Albatern has been awarded £1.8m towards a total project cost of £3.5 million for the build and demonstration of a larger Squid device. Albatern is specifically targeting off-grid markets such as aquaculture and community scale projects and the WATERS3 project will build on the company’s success to date in this field.

* Nova Innovation has been awarded £573k towards a total project cost of £998k for direct drive tidal turbine development and demonstration. The innovative direct drive generator will increase the efficiency and reliability of tidal turbines, reducing the cost of energy by 20%, and increasing the commercial returns available to Nova Innovation’s customers. Nova developed the world’s first community-owned tidal turbine in 2014 at North Yell in Shetland and will test the technology associated with the WATERS3 award at its consented site in Bluemull Sound, Shetland.

* Sustainable Marine Energy has been awarded funding of £1.3m towards a total project cost of £2.5m for an array demonstrator project. The company is establishing a operational and production hub in Scotland as a result of the funding to develop its innovative PLAT-O tidal energy platform technology. This enables multiple turbines operating in mid-water to share a common infrastructure.

Welcoming the awards, Maggie McGinlay, director of energy and clean technologies at Scottish Enterprise said: “Scotland is playing a key role in the development of marine energy at a global level, with the sector offering significant opportunities for our companies.

“By taking key technologies to the next stage of commercial exploitation, this latest round of WATERS funding will help create more opportunities and support the growth of the sector.”

Calum Davidson, Director of energy and low carbon at Highlands and Islands Enterprise, added: “We welcome the announcement of the WATERS 3 funding and warmly congratulate each of the successful companies. The Highlands and Islands already boasts an enviable international reputation in the development of marine renewable energy. This is underlined by today’s announcement of another company investing in our region and offering significant supply chain opportunities.

“This latest round of funding will back the development of the marine energy industry across Scotland and further support the deployment of devices at the European Marine Energy Centre and throughout Scottish waters.”

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