You are here

Government gives consent to build world’s largest wave power array in Scotland

Aquamarine Power secures full consent from Scottish government for 40MW Lewis wave energy farm to power nearly 30,000 homes

The 40MW array will see up to 50 Oyster devices deployed along the coast of Lewis, Scotland

Plans to build the world's largest wave energy array in Scotland are underway after the government gave full content to the development team. Marine energy firm Aquamarine Power has received full consent from the Scottish Government for the 40MW wave farm off the north-west coast of Lewis, Scotland. When operating, it will be the world's largest fully-permitted commercial ocean energy site.

The green light from the government means the Edinburgh firm, through its wholly owned subsidiary Lewis Wave Power, can begin installing its near-shore Oyster wave energy machines at the site in the next few years, once grid infrastructure has been put in place.

This will see up to 50 Oyster devices deployed along the coast at Lag na Greine, near to Fivepenny Borve, in what is described as one of the best wave energy locations in Europe. Once complete, the farm will have the capacity to power nearly 30,000 homes.

Aquamarine Power are currently testing their second full scale wave machine, known as the Oyster 800, at the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) in Orkney, and are now producing electrical power to the grid. Last year the local council, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar (Western Isles Council), also approved planning for an onshore hydroelectric power plant which will be connected to the Oyster wave energy farm.

Aquamarine Power chief executive officer Martin McAdam, said: "This is a significant milestone for our company. The goal of our industry is to become commercial, and to do this we need two things - reliable technologies and a route to market. Our engineers are currently working hard on getting the technology right and we now have a site where we can install our first small farm, with a larger-scale commercial build out in the years ahead.

"We believe wave energy presents an important opportunity for the Isle of Lewis," he added.