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Marine hydro projects secure Scottish Government funding

The Scottish Government has awarded 13 million pounds (US$19.7 million) in grants to five marine hydropower projects through a wave and tidal hydro development program.

The marine energy projects won funding through WATERS, the Wave and Tidal Energy: Research, Development and Demonstration Support program. They include one of the world's largest wave stations being developed off the Western Isles by RWE npower renewables and a doughnut-shaped wave energy converter being tested in Lock Ness by AWS Ocean Energy. WATERS is a collaboration between the Scottish Government and business and economic growth agencies Scottish Enterprise and Highlands and Islands Enterprise, with support from European Regional Development Funds.

The grants will help develop emerging energy technologies with the aim of positioning Scotland as global leader in marine power, Scottish Energy Minister Jim Mather said.

Mather said: "Our seas have unrivalled potential to generate clean, green energy and bring jobs, investment and know how to Scotland. This funding is another step on the road to a low carbon Scotland that maximizes its resources for a sustainable future."

The grants include:

RWE npower renewables - 6 million pounds to support construction of one of the world's largest wave stations, the 10 turbine, 4-MW Siadar project off the Western Isles
Aquamarine Power - 3.15 million pounds to support demonstration of its 2.4-MW Oyster 3 project at the European Marine Energy Centre in Orkney
OpenHydro - 1.85 million pounds to support a power conversion/control system to deliver a cost effective method of connecting marine energy devices in tidal arrays
AWS Ocean Energy - 1.39 million pounds to support tests in Loch Ness and the Cromarty Firth of its wave energy converter
Ocean Flow Energy - 560,000 pounds to build and deploy the 'Evopod', a 35 kW floating grid connected tidal energy turbine at Sanda Sound in South Kintyre

Martin McAdam, chief executive officer of Aquamarine Power, said: “The marine energy industry has the potential to provide huge economic benefit to Scotland and Scottish businesses, with the creation of skilled jobs, a global export market and a secure and clean domestic energy supply. At this early stage of the industry, funding initiatives like the WATERS scheme are vital to help deliver this for Scotland."

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