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Aquamarine Power taps BiFab for Oyster 2 wave energy project in Scotland

Marine hydro developer Aquamarine Power announced its next-generation Oyster wave energy device is to be built in Scotland by leading fabrication contractor Burntisland Fabrications Ltd (BiFab).

The news follows the announcement of GBP11 million (about US$17 million) new investment in Aquamarine Power by multi-national power company ABB and existing shareholders, including SSE (Scottish and Southern Energy).

The GBP4 million (US$6.29 million) contract will see the first next-generation Oyster device – known as Oyster 2 – fabricated over the next six months at BiFab's manufacturing plant at Methil on the Firth of Forth in Scotland. Installation of the device will then begin at the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) near Stromness in Orkney in summer 2011.

The project is also being supported through grant funding awarded by Scottish Enterprise and the Carbon Trust Marine Renewables Proving Fund.

Aquamarine Power's Oyster 2 demonstration project will consist of three flaps, each measuring 26 meters wide. Although it is only 50 percent wider, it will deliver 250 percent more power than the original Oyster 1, which was successfully deployed at EMEC last summer.

The three devices will be linked to a single onshore 2.4-MW hydroelectric power station. The new devices incorporate a number of design improvements, which means they will produce more energy, be simpler to install and easier to maintain. A small farm of 20 Oyster devices would provide enough energy for more than 12,000 homes.

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