The projects will involve demonstration and testing of scale prototypes in a representative environment and cover a range of technology options: digital hydraulics, electrical linear generation and a ball-screw generation.
A total of £7.5m has been awarded for the projects which will be completed over the next 2 years and involve 15 organisations from across Scotland. The award recipients are:
- Artemis Intelligent Power Ltd - £2,498,400
- University of Edinburgh - £2,499,556
- Umbra Cuscinetti SpA- £2,469,450
Wave Energy Scotland was set up in 2014 as a subsidiary of Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) and is fully funded by the Scottish Government. The organisation is seen as a fresh approach to tackling the issues which have proved challenging in the wave energy sector.
WES Managing Director Tim Hurst said:
“After an extensive evaluation process, these technologies were assessed to be the best in the programme and worthy of further development. This represents a significant milestone for WES as projects from our first call reach an advanced stage of maturity. This takes us one step further towards finding the best solution for the PTO component of a Wave Energy Converter (WEC).”
Paul Wheelhouse, Minister for Business, Innovation and Energy said,
“I am delighted to see a strong show of Scottish talent in this latest round of funding. The Scottish Government recognises the enormous potential for wave energy to contribute to Europe, and indeed the global energy need, and we are fully behind this technology programme. I am pleased that our investment is now showing promising results. Supporting the development of wave energy technology in Scotland is allowing us to use home-grown skills while expanding our domestic marine energy sector. The WES programme is strategically important to Scotland and will help the Scottish supply chain to build collaborations and to maintain its strong lead in this emerging industry.”
Power Take Off is the name given to the method used to convert wave motion into electrical energy, which can then be collected and used either in the grid, locally or stored for future use.
The WES programme works by initially selecting several projects at stage 1 (concept design) from the call. Once these short projects have been concluded, each of them can apply for stage 2 funding. To determine which projects succeed, they are assessed with external input and the best are selected to develop their projects further. Only a percentage of the proposals proceed through the assessment process. A similar procedure occurs for projects moving from stage 2 to stage 3 where further funding is invested in the emerging technologies.
WES expects to announce a fourth innovation funding call for Control Systems in April 2017.