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Vattenfall building 10-MW wave energy device with Pelamis

Swedish state-owned utility Vattenfall is working with Scottish wave energy technology company Pelamis to build a wave energy farm off the southwestern Shetland coast of Scotland.

The wave energy project, a joint venture called Aegir Wave Power, will use 11 Pelamis Wave Energy Converters. These will produce 10 megawatts of capacity serving 8,500 households.

The Pelamis device converts the motion of the waves into renewable energy. It is a semi-submerged unit composed of five cylindrical sections linked by hinged joints, which move with the waves.

This movement pumps fluid through hydraulic motors that drive an electrical generator to produce power. The hydraulic systems are housed inside each joint.

Aegir Wave Power, of which Vattenfall owns 62 percent, was granted an agreement for lease by the Crown Estate for the Shetland site in May 2011.

The joint venture is currently conducting environmental and resource assessments ahead of an expected planning application to be submitted to Marine Scotland in 2014.

According to Karl Bergman, head of Vattenfall's research and development, the company is focusing on the development of safe and reliable wave energy technology.

"That is why we are planning to buy Pelamis Wave Power's latest wave power converter and test it in the Orkney Islands," said Mr. Bergman.

Vattenfall has also signed an agreement with Scotland's ocean energy research and development center, the European Marine Energy Center, for the final berth in their wave energy test site at Billia Croo in Orkney to study the latest Pelamis wave energy device by 2013. – EcoSeed Staff

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