This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

August 25, 2004

Wave Energy Device Provides Power to U.K. Grid

Ocean Power Delivery, Inc., (OPD) announced on August 23rd that its Pelamis wave energy converter has been successfully installed at the new European Marine Energy Center (EMEC), and has been providing power to the U.K. power grid since the evening of August 15th. The 750-kilowatt device is a full-scale prototype consisting of a series of floating cylinders, each about 11.5 feet in diameter, stretching out over a length of about 130 yards. The device is moored perpendicular to oncoming waves, and three hinges along its length allow the segments to move up and down as waves pass. As each hinge pivots up and down, it pumps high-pressure oil, which is used to drive a generator to produce power. See the OPD press release (PDF 50 KB) as well as the company's description of the Pelamis. Download Acrobat Reader.

The Pelamis is the first device installed at the EMEC, located near Stromness on the northern Scotland island of Orkney. The new facility officially opened on August 8th, and includes four test berths for wave energy devices, located about a mile and a quarter from shore. The EMEC was constructed at a cost of about $9 million (5 million pounds), and plans are already underway to expand the facility to test tidal energy technologies. See the announcement from the Scottish Executive, as well as the EMEC Web site.