Orkney Council pays £1 for Pelamis wave energy device

Pelamis P2 wave energy device (Photo: Pelamis Wave Power)

Orkney Islands Council has bought the Pelamis P2 wave energy device from the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) for the nominal sum of £1.

Orkney Islands Council said it bought the device to explore alternative uses for the machine, which is the last of the wave energy converters to be built by Pelamis and tested at EMEC’s Billia Croo test site.

Council Leader James Stockan said that one of the options is to use the device as a temporary breakwater, since there is a number of potential locations across the islands where the machine could be reused in this way.

Stockan said: “This is a piece of Orkney’s recent maritime history that would otherwise have been towed away and scrapped. By taking over ownership we are putting that on hold for the time being while we explore the possibilities of finding a new use can for the device.

“If in the end the best option is to scrap the device, the decommissioning costs would be covered as part of our agreement with EMEC.”

To remind, the developer behind the technology, Pelamis Wave Power, went into administration in November 2014, after it failed to secure the funding required for further development of the technology.

Neil Kermode, EMEC’s Managing Director said: “Pelamis were EMEC’s first clients and started testing their P1 device in Orkney in 2004. This became the world’s first offshore wave machine to generate electricity into the grid, and led to the development of the P2 devices which began testing in 2010.

“So whilst it is a little bittersweet, I’m delighted that the council are looking to utilize the device for a different means to extend its legacy even further. This is part of our history – part of the wave energy story – so it will be nice to see it preserved to some extent.”

The 750kW device is currently moored at Lyness. It comprises five sections connected by hydraulic rams.

The device is 180 meters long, and 4 meters in diameter, with the approximate weight of 1350 tonnes.

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