LONDON, March 19 (Reuters) - Swedish utility Vattenfall has signed an agreement to develop a wave energy test project off the Orkney Islands in Scotland, the company said on Monday.
The project, in conjunction with the European Marine Energy Centre, will use 10 Pelamis wave energy converters with a total capacity of 10 megawatts, the company said.
The wave farm should be able to supply electricity to 8,500 households if grid connections to mainland Scotland are sufficient, the company said.
“The goal is to have the latest generation test machine from Pelamis installed in 2013,” Vattenfall said in a statement.
Vattenfall already has a 62 percent in a joint venture with Scottish wave energy technology company Pelamis, called Aegir Wave Power, which is involved in a 10 MW wave power project off the Shetland Islands.
“Vattenfall wants to focus on wave energy to support the transition to renewable energy with low carbon dioxide emissions. It requires safe and reliable technology,” said Karl Bergman, head of Vattenfall’s research and development.
The utility is not the only one to explore the potential of wave energy in Britain.
Alstom and SSE Renewables, the marine developer arm of UK energy firm SSE, have formed a joint venture to develop a wave energy installation off the coast of Orkney.
Acquamarine Power plans a 2.4 MW wave power converter demonstration project there and the UK government has announced that Britain’s first marine energy park will be developed in south west England.