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Multi-megawatt wave energy demonstrator heads to Orkney

Professional Engineering

Marine Power Systems' PelaGen wave energy converters on the PelaFlex platform
Marine Power Systems' PelaGen wave energy converters on the PelaFlex platform

A unique new wave energy capture device will be deployed in a multi-megawatt demonstration array in Orkney.

Designed to harness energy during the heave and surge of a wave, the PelaGen device from Swansea firm Marine Power Systems (MPS) will be demonstrated at the European Marine Energy Centre (Emec) in the northern Scottish islands.

Designed to each have a capacity of more than 1MW, the wave energy converters have a hydrodynamic shape and a simple structure with only two major components, the absorber and nacelle. 

The devices will be deployed on the PelaFlex modular floating platform. Based on a tetrahedral design for stability, the platform has a low overall steel mass, with only 10 primary and four distinct parts.

The first commercial-scale array will be installed in two berths at Emec’s Billia Croo wave test site in 2025-26. With an average significant wave height of 2-4m and extremes of up to 20m, the site has some of the highest wave energy potential in Europe, while a grid connection will enable electricity generated during the demonstration programme to be exported into the UK national grid.

“We are thrilled to be demonstrating our first pre-commercial array at Emec. The project represents another significant step forward for the business and our progress towards market readiness,” said Gareth Stockman, CEO at Marine Power Systems.

“This array demonstration will support the ongoing development of our technology and its functionality to ensure that the commercial arrays delivered at increasing scale represent the most robust, reliable and cost-effective devices on the market. The project will also deliver further research and development around manufacturing and the real-world deployment of our technology at commercial scale.”

Rob Flynn, commercial manager for Emec, said: “Marine Power Systems’ approach to technology development is rigorous and impressive, and we are delighted to support the next stage of their development with this pre-commercial project. These are the type of projects which the wave energy sector needs to undertake to show that it can deliver clean renewable energy to the electrical grid and make a significant contribution to net zero.”

The exact number of devices, capacity and configuration of the array is yet to be confirmed, an Emec spokesman told Professional Engineering

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Content published by Professional Engineering does not necessarily represent the views of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers.


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