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Carbon Trust investing in two marine energy devices

Through its Marine Energy Accelerator scheme, the Carbon Trust is to provide financial support for marine energy devices developed by Pelamis Wave Power and Marine Current Turbines (MCT).

Pelamis and MCT will pursue projects that focus on installation and maintenance, which currently accounts for up to 50 percent of project costs for wave and tidal energy.

The Carbon Trust is an independent company set up by the UK government in 2001 to accelerate the move to a low-carbon economy. The Carbon Trust is providing 250,000 pounds (US$375,000) for Pelamis, which is investigating a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) that will assist with maneuvering the company's 180-meter-long machines into position. Pelamis also will integrate remote control technology into existing systems, which will enable deployment in rougher seas.

In addition, the Carbon Trust is providing 150,000 pounds (US$225,000) for a feasibility study with MCT to develop an innovative way to deploy its SeaGen tidal energy system. The method will involve a remotely operated subsea drilling platform that will install foundation piles in advance of the main turbine support structure being deployed in a single unit. This would enable smaller and less-expensive support vessels to be used for the offshore works, reducing the costs of turbine installation.

Vattenfall, Wavebob to build wave energy project off Ireland

Swedish power utility Vattenfall and Irish wave-energy developer Wavebob are cooperating to build a commercial-scale wave-energy project off the west coast of Ireland.

In October 2009, the two companies formed a joint venture, called Tonn Energy, to conduct research and development near Belmullet, Mayo. The project is being backed by the government of Ireland.

Vattenfall's interest in this project is to help the utility reduce its emissions per produced unit of energy, says Goran Dandanell, head of business development. "Vattenfall's long-term goal is to halve the emissions per produced unit of energy by 2030, compared with 1990 levels, and to be emission neutral by 2050," he says.

The Wavebob technology is a buoy structure that contains three or four motor-alternator sets. The device consists of a float structure that rests on the water surface and a second unit below the surface of the water. The two pieces are linked by a shaft, and the up and down motion of the waves drives a piston that produces electricity.

Carnegie selects site for wave energy demonstration

Carnegie Wave Energy Ltd. has selected Garden Island, 31 miles south of Perth, Australia, as the site for its commercial-scale wave energy plant.

The first of 25 to 30 units will be installed in 2010. The 5-MW plant will be completed by 2011. Carnegie's technology consists of a series of underwater buoys tethered to pump units bolted to the seabed. The buoys drive the pumps, which deliver high-pressure water via a pipeline to hydroelectric turbines on shore.

The Garden Island plant is being built to assess the feasibility of using this technology to power a naval base near Exmouth, north of Perth. The feasibility study will examine several factors, including wave resource, environmental values, geophysical conditions, and connectivity to the naval base.

Ocean Power Technologies wins A$66.5 million grant

Ocean Power Technologies (OPT) is using a A$66.5 million (US$61 million) grant from the Australian government to build a 19-MW wave power project off the coast of Victoria, Australia.

The money will be used to build a wave power station in three phases beginning in the second quarter of 2010. The project was one of four renewable energy projects selected by the federal government after considering more than 30 applications.

The project will generate enough power to serve about 10,000 Australian homes, OPT said.

The grant was announced in November 2009 by the Australian Resources & Energy Minister, Martin Ferguson, under the Renewable Energy Demonstration Program. The program, which has awarded A$235 million (US$219 million) to four renewable energy projects, was set up to meet Australia's goal of generating 20 percent of the country's electricity needs from renewable resources.

OPT appoints chief executive in the United Kingdom

OPT has appointed Angus Norman chief executive of Ocean Power Technologies Ltd.

Before joining OPT, Norman was managing director of sustainable solutions with EDF Energy. Prior to that, he was managing director of generation with EDF Energy.

Norman reports to Mark R. Draper, chief executive officer of OPT. Norman is responsible for all OPT Ltd. operations based in Warwick, UK, including engineering, sales and marketing, and customer contracts.

OPT is headquartered in Pennington, N.J.

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