Scotland

Oyster wave energy power device shown to first minister

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Media captionThe device has been hailed as a major step forward for Scotland's renewable energy industry

A cutting edge wave energy device which has been built in Fife has been unveiled.

Aquamarine Power showed off the new Oyster machine at Burntisland Fabrications (BiFab) yard in Methil where its 800kW flap has been built.

The device is said to be able to generate more than twice as much power as existing machines.

First Minister Alex Salmond was shown the Oyster before it is taken by barge to Orkney, where it will operate.

The machine, which is delivering 250% more power than its first version, incorporates design improvements, which will make it simpler to install and easier to maintain.

Mr Salmond was joined at the unveiling by BiFab managing director John Robertson and Aquamarine Power chief executive officer Martin McAdam.

The first minister said it was a "significant day" for Scotland's offshore renewables sector.

"BiFab is another Scottish success story which, by successfully delivering the Oyster 800 device, has underlined once again the skills of its workforce and its capability to manufacture a wide and diverse range of fabrications for offshore energy developers," he said.

"Scotland is in the rapids of a renewables revolution and the delivery of the new, more efficient and powerful Oyster 800 device represents a new surge towards the deployment of commercially competitive wave power arrays to deliver clean, green energy."

Image caption The latest Oyster is said to be 250% more powerful than previous versions

Aquamarine Power's chief executive officer, Martin McAdam, said the new device was "simpler, more robust and more efficient".

He added: "This means we can offer 250% more power at a third of the cost.

"Our goal is to make future Oysters cost competitive within the next few years. The Oyster 800 will help us gather the data that we need to deliver on that."

The Carbon Trust, which has financially supported the project, welcomed the unveiling of the latest Oyster device.

The trust's Dr Stephen Wyatt said: "Wave and tidal stream could provide a fifth of our electricity needs and be a major 'made in Britain' success.

"Our new analysis has found that the best marine energy sites could be cost competitive with nuclear and onshore wind by 2025. The wave and tidal sector could generate up to £76bn to the UK economy by 2050, and could also generate over 68,000 UK jobs."

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