E.ON’s wave energy convertor, Vagr Atferd, has arrived at the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) in Orkney to begin testing and development.

In another milestone for the burgeoning marine energy industry, it will be the first time a P2 machine – designed and constructed by Pelamis Wave Power – is tested.

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Amaan Lafayette, E.ON’s Marine Development Manager, said: “This is the beginning of an exciting period in the development of marine energy. Vagr Atferd is capable of generating 750kW of renewable energy and this period of testing will help us determine what we need to do to ensure that marine energy makes the transition from development to commercial deployment.”

The testing programme will increase in intensity every 12 months to examine the viability of the P2 wave energy convertor, which was officially launched by Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond in May.

The machine is 180m long – or as long as the Gherkin building in London is tall – and weighs approximately 1,300 tonnes. The motion of the waves produces electricity by driving a set of hydraulic rams at the hinged joints, which link the cylindrical sections of the device.

Vagr Atferd (in Old Norse Vágr Atferð means wave power) was named by Matthew Rendall of Stromness Primary School in Orkney, following a competition. Its deployment at EMEC – a research facility based in Stromness, Orkney – is part of E.ON’s first significant investment in wave power.

E.ON is a leader in renewable energy and currently owns and operates 20 wind farms from Cornwall to Kintyre, including Robin Rigg in the Solway Firth, which is one of the UK’s largest offshore wind farms. E.ON is also a partner in the London Array, which will be the world’s largest offshore wind farm when complete, together with DONG Energy and Masdar.

In February, the Carbon Trust awarded funding from the Marine Renewables Proving Fund (MRPF) to the six most promising marine energy technologies to speed up the deployment of full scale prototypes. The funding provided to Pelamis has supported the design and construction of the P2 device and its installation and testing at the EMEC.

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