Technology giant ABB invests £8 million and £3 million further investment from existing shareholders

Wave energy developer Aquamarine Power took a major step towards the commercialisation of their Oyster technology with the announcement today [Wednesday November 24] of £11 million new investment in the company.

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The announcement was made as Scotland’s First Minister Alex Salmond MSP officially opened the company’s new premises in Elder Street, Edinburgh.

The new funds comprise £8 million from ABB, one of the world’s leading power and automation technology companies, and £3m from Aquamarine Power’s existing shareholders, which include SSE Venture Capital, the ventures unit of Scottish and Southern Energy.

The investment is a major achievement for the Edinburgh-based firm and marks a significant endorsement of the company’s Oyster wave energy technology.

“This is a game-changing moment for our company and for the UK’s marine energy industry,” says Aquamarine Power CEO Martin McAdam.

“ABB is a global leader in power and automation technologies and they have taken a strategic decision to invest in Oyster technology. Through working together ABB will gain an early-mover advantage in our wave energy technology, whilst we will be able to access ABB’s technical, research and engineering expertise and utilise their global supply chain network.

“Our companies are very different in size but similar in ambition. This is a strategic partnership with the shared goal of accelerating the commercialisation and deployment of Oyster wave energy technology around the world.

“We would also like to thank our existing investors who remain exceptionally supportive of our business strategy.”

The investment in Aquamarine Power was made by ABB Group’s technology investment arm, ABB Technology Ventures. ABB is a Swiss-Swedish multinational corporation headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland. It specialises in power and automation technologies that enable utility and industry customers to improve performance while lowering environmental impact. The ABB Group of companies operates in around 100 countries and employs about 117,000 people.

First Minister Alex Salmond said: “I’m delighted to officially open Aquamarine Power’s new premises as we celebrate this substantial investment in the company. It is further clear and tangible evidence of the continued growth and confidence in Scotland’s renewables industry and the contribution that wave power can make to clean, green energy generation and reductions in harmful global carbon emissions.

“Scotland has not only unrivalled natural energy resources but a wealth of talent and technical expertise in offshore power production. Aquamarine Power is a tremendous Scottish success story, at the leading edge of a frontier technology that is attracting serious investment from leading global players such as ABB and Scottish and Southern Energy. I’m delighted to welcome its latest success as we work together to forge the new low carbon economy. Substantial investment from such serious companies as this is a demonstration that the green energy revolution is underway and that Scotland is leading the charge.”

“Wave energy is primed to become an important part of the world’s renewable energy portfolio,” said Brice Koch, head of ABB Marketing and Customer Solutions, which oversees the company’s renewable energy initiatives among other activities. “This investment reflects our belief in its technical viability, and our confidence in Aquamarine Power’s technology and its management team.”

Ian Marchant, Chief Executive of SSE, said: “Wave energy can play a very important part in meeting our electricity needs over the long term. Aquamarine Power is playing a pivotal role in the development of the technology, and this latest investment by SSE is confirmation of our belief in the potential of wave energy and in the ability of Aquamarine Power to fulfill it.”

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