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Aquamarine Power unveils next-generation Oyster wave energy device

Scotland-based marine energy developer Aquamarine Power has unveiled the Oyster 800, which is the firm's next-generation wave energy converter.

The project has been supported through grant funding awarded by Scottish Enterprise and the Carbon Trust Marine Renewables Proving Fund.

Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond unveiled the 800-kW device at a ceremony at Burntisland Fabrications' yard at Methil, Fife, from where it will now be transported by sea from the Firth of Forth to the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) in Orkney for installation later this summer.

Aquamarine Power installed and grid-connected its first full-scale 315-kW Oyster at EMEC in 2009. This first device operated through two winters and delivered over 6,000 operating hours.

The Oyster 800 operates in the same way as Oyster 1, but Aquamarine Power has used data and lessons learned from the first Oyster to significantly improve its power output, simplify installation and allow easier routine maintenance, the company said in a statement.

The device shape has been modified and made wider to enable it to capture more wave energy. It is now mounted on two seabed piles, rather than four to simplify installation. The device was manufactured by Burntisland Fabrications at its Methil and Arnish yards.

The Oyster 800 will be the first of three devices to be installed at EMEC, with further Oysters to be deployed in 2012 and 2013. All three Oysters will be linked to an onshore hydroelectric plant to form a 2.4-MW array.

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