Ten positions to be filled
The Edinburgh firm, which is currently testing its Oyster 800 full-scale wave machine at the European Marine Energy Centre in Orkney, is seeking eight experienced engineers to join their core engineering, design and project team, together with an operations technician based in Orkney and a research fellow to work at the company’s academic base in Queen’s University Belfast.
“These are exciting times for our company,” says company Chief Executive Officer Martin McAdam. “This summer we went through an extensive refit of our Oyster 800 machine which has yielded very positive results and we are now looking to further improve the machine’s reliability and durability, and begin the design of our next-generation Oyster 801.
“To do this we need skilled, experienced engineers to join what is already a tremendously enthusiastic and talented team. We have made no secret of the challenges involved in making machines that can harness the enormous power in ocean waves, and what we need now are technically strong individuals who can bring experience from other fields to help us in our quest.
“Each job offers a genuine opportunity to make a difference and change forever the way our future energy is made,” McAdam concludes.
In addition to their test site at EMEC in Orkney, the Edinburgh firm has gained all consents to develop a 40MW wave farm off the Isles of Lewis, which would require up to 50 Oyster wave energy machines.
All jobs are permanent positions and come with a package of benefits including company pension and healthcare.
Aquamarine Power’s backers include electricity utility SSE and ABB, one of the world’s largest power and automation companies.
For full details of the positions advertised, please visit: http://www.aquamarinepower.com/work-with-us/
About Aquamarine Power
Aquamarine Power’s Oyster wave power technology captures energy in near-shore waves and converts it into clean sustainable electricity. In simple terms, Oyster is a wave-powered pump which pushes high pressure water to drive a conventional onshore hydro-electric turbine.
Aquamarine Power’s shareholders include the UK’s leading generator of renewable electricity SSE (Scottish and Southern Energy), global power and automation company ABB and Scottish Enterprise, the Scottish Government’s enterprise agency.
An international collaboration agreement has been signed between the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) based in Orkney, Scotland, and the Energy Research Institute at Nanyang Technological University (ERI@N), Singapore, to support further development of the marine renewable energy industry in Southeast Asia.
EMEC – the world’s first and leading facility for wave and tidal energy converters – will advise the University on the setup of scale test facilities in Singapore; offering a different climate and sea conditions to EMEC’s own scale test sites in Orkney.
A memorandum of understanding was signed in Singapore on 1 November 2013 by Stuart Baird, EMEC’s operations director, and Professor Subodh Mhaisalkar, Executive Director of ERI@N, after Mr Baird spoke at the Asia Future Energy Forum, part of Singapore International Energy Week.
Scottish Government’s Minister for Energy, Enterprise and Tourism, Fergus Ewing has commended the agreement: “This is the latest in a number of agreements that have been established by EMEC not just in Southeast Asia but in Oregon, USA; Nova Scotia, Canada; China; South Korea; Japan; and Taiwan.
“With the signing of this memorandum of understanding, we are seeing yet another region opening up for the marine energy market. It is a further example of Scotland’s impressive global reach. We will continue to look beyond our borders to promote Scottish marine energy expertise and know-how, and to develop partnerships with businesses, research institutes and governments around the world.”
Celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, EMEC’s experience in the development and operation of a marine energy test facility is unrivalled, and its expertise is highly sought after across the globe.
Stuart Baird, operations director said: “We’re delighted to be working with Nanyang Technological University, who already have a range of projects to promote and advance the research, development and deployment of sustainable technologies in one of the world’s most experienced maritime areas.
“Being the first facility of its kind in the world, EMEC has racked up some tremendous learning over the last ten years as we’ve developed and expanded our facilities and services to fit the needs of a nascent industry. It’s been a fruitful yet challenging journey, and one which other countries can learn from as they develop their own wave and tidal test centres.”
KOH Eng Kiong, programme director at ERI@N said: “With the cutting-edge EMEC facilities and its achievements, cooperation with EMEC will be very beneficial in boosting the development of international markets and common standards. With NTU’s strong expertise in sustainability research and its strategic location in Singapore which acts as a gateway to Southeast Asia, this collaboration will also bring about the best between East and West.”
This is the fifth partnership EMEC have made in Asia, having signed similar agreements with the Ocean Energy Association of Japan, Ocean University of China, Incheon Metropolitan City in South Korea and National Taiwan Ocean University. EMEC has also formed strategic alliances with The Fundy Ocean Energy Centre in Nova Scotia, Canada, and the Northwest National Marine Renewable Energy Centre in Oregon, USA.
EMEC’s newly appointed commercial director, Oliver Wragg commented: “It’s important that we work with other countries around the world to ensure there is a global market waiting for our clients who are testing devices in Orkney today. With 14 full-scale test berths, and facilities for smaller scale demonstration, we continue to look at ways in which we can provide for our current and future customers both in Orkney and across the globe.”
EMEC - European Marine Energy Centre
The machine has now been de-ballasted and is clearly visible operating at the company’s site at Billia Croo, part of the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) in Orkney.
The Oyster 800 improvement programme involved shutting down the near shore wave energy machine to carry out improvements in five specific areas – with the overall goals of improving performance, reliability and availability of Aquamarine Power’s second full-scale device.
“The product improvement programme has been extremely challenging but has resulted in an even better Oyster 800,” says Aquamarine Power Chief Executive Officer Martin McAdam.
“We have just completed a huge programme of work over the summer period. I think someone referred to the programme as major heart surgery. I think that that is an exaggeration but we swapped out a large number of failed or non-functioning components
“The machine’s survivability is already well proven. It has operated through two winters, enduring massive storms. The downside is that several of the systems and components on Oyster were just not fit for purpose. Our Product Improvement Programme (PIP) allowed us to focus on those areas which were just not up to the job, such as cabling, connectors, accumulators and several of the components of the control and instrumentation system. We also had some failures in the valve and pipework systems.
“We exported our first power since the refit last week and we are now running through phased testing and building up our electricity exports. We can already see a marked improvement in Oyster 800 performance. Of course we have had some additional start-up issues, we would be naïve to assume that all will work perfectly since the PIP.
“The most important part of the Oyster 800 programme has been the learning. Failures can be frustrating but they are not all bad, they are opportunities to learn and we have done a lot of learning
“The team at Aquamarine Power have given the programme an extraordinary level of commitment. I am very proud and grateful to them all. I am also very pleased with the financial support from our key investors ABB, SSE and Scottish Enterprise. The support from many of our key suppliers is also appreciated – especially those in the local community in Orkney including Leask Marine and Hamnavoe Engineering.
“We have not completed anything yet – we have just started. We have a full-scale research platform in Oyster 800 and before we build our next generation machine we need to learn a lot more,” McAdam concludes.
The Edinburgh firm’s 40MW Lewis wave farm – which was fully consented by the Scottish Government earlier this year – could generate between 98 and 200 jobs during construction and inject up to £9 million a year into the Western Isles and wider Highland economy.
The project would involve installing up to 50 of Aquamarine Power’s Oyster near-shore energy machines along the north-west coast of Lewis. The company is currently testing their second full-scale prototype, the Oyster 800, at the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) in Orkney.
The figures come from an in-depth assessment carried out by Aquamarine Power using a methodology developed by consultants ABP Marine Environmental Research and Risk & Policy Analysts Ltd.
The consultants were commissioned by seabed owner the Crown Estate, using funds from their Pentland Firth and Orkney waters enabling actions programme, to develop an objective technique which project developers could use to identify the economic opportunity presented to the UK by the wave and tidal industry.
Aquamarine Power’s study showed that their 40MW wave energy project in the Western Isles could generate:
98 to 200 jobs in the Outer Hebrides and wider Highlands and Islands during the construction phase, generating an estimated £4.49 million to £9 million gross value added per year;
23 to 37 jobs during the 20 year operations and maintenance phase, generating £1.3 million to £2.1 million per year.
The calculation includes all direct employees and contractors used by Aquamarine Power, indirect jobs such as shops, hotels and local services, and induced jobs created by the increased overall activity in the area.
The first two Oyster devices have been almost entirely British-built, and the study confirms that future machines could be manufactured wholly in the UK, with the potential to source a hundred per cent of the farm’s manufacturing supply chain within Britain.
“The UK is looking for success stories where British businesses can build on British innovation to create economic activity and jobs here in the UK,” says Aquamarine Power Chief Executive Officer Martin McAdam.
“Wave energy has been invented here, is being tested here and has the potential to be a home-grown global economic success. Our study shows there is the potential to secure all of the manufacturing, construction and operations and maintenance supply chain here in Britain.
“The vast majority of the UK’s wave resource lies in remote locations, where economic opportunities are few. Wave energy offers a real opportunity for these communities, even for a relatively small project. With hundreds of megawatts of wave power in Scotland’s islands there is genuine potential for the UK to capture the entire supply chain of this exciting new industrial sector.”
Lindsay Leask, Senior Policy Manager for Offshore Renewables at Scottish Renewables said:”This study shows yet again that wave and tidal energy has the potential to create thousands of jobs across Scotland. Importantly, many of these new, skilled jobs will be in some of our most remote communities.
“However, we must not forget this is exactly the kind of prize that could be lost unless access to the grid is secured and connection charges for Scotland’s island-based marine energy projects are set at a competitive level.”
Councillor Angus Campbell, Leader of Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, the Local Authority for the Western Isles, said: “The Western Isles are home to one of the best wave energy resources in Europe, if not the world, and our community is determined to maximise the benefits from this resource. At a time when the islands are facing serious structural disadvantages on account of peripherality, transport costs, distance to markets and so on, it is important that the opportunity to develop new industries and to create employment is grasped. We have worked closely with Aquamarine Power as they have developed their world-leading project off the Atlantic seaboard of the Western Isles and have long recognised the potential for local investment and employment through this project. Up to 200 jobs in construction and up to 37 long term jobs in operation and maintenance will make a huge difference in our fragile economy and we will continue to lobby for equitable transmission charges for the islands so that projects like Aquamarine Power’s can reach commerciality and contribute to UK security of energy supply. We must make sure that the UK retains its competitive advantage in this emerging technology which will have global application as it matures and as more maritime nations seek to address climate change issues.”
Calum Davidson, Director of Energy and Low Carbon with Highlands and Islands Enterprise, said: “We have been committed to the development of the marine energy industry in the Highlands and Islands for well over a decade, and there is no doubt that the region is now widely regarded as the global leader.
“Through the European Marine Energy Centre in Orkney, we have been pleased to enable Aquamarine Power to test and develop its Oyster devices to bring them to the stage when they can be put into commercial use, both in Scotland and around the world. Wave energy is still a relatively young part of the renewables sector, and this assessment underlines its tremendous potential to generate substantial economic benefits in some of our most fragile areas.”
David Krohn, Wave and Tidal Energy Development Manager, Renewable UK, said: “This is a great example of a leading wave energy technology, developed and demonstrated in the UK, having a real positive effect on the British economy. This methodology will enable marine energy projects to highlight the capacity for the industry to deliver real socio-economic benefits to the United Kingdom. We recommend the use of this tool to other developers looking to demonstrate the use of local supply chains.”
ABP Marine Environmental Research and Risk and Policy Analysts developed the methodology to look at all of the socio-economic inputs (both positive and negative) of wave and tidal energy developments in Scotland. It enables developers to gather all of the relevant information related to a project – such as materials and services used – based on standard industry data, and then runs this information through an excel-based spread sheet to deliver a set of objective, standardised outputs.
“The beauty of this methodology,” says Stephen Hull, Technical Director at ABP Marine Environmental Research, “is that it can be picked up and used by other renewable industries such as offshore wind, to demonstrate the positive impact their projects will have on the UK supply chain.
“There is real potential for other businesses in the renewable energy sector to show, in an objective way, the jobs and economic activity their projects will create.”
A draft copy of the methodology can be found HERE
That is the key message from the Global Energy Symposium in Orkney
INCREASED connectivity and collaboration between the world’s wave and tidal power test sites is vital to ensure resources are used strategically and to help boost the development of international markets.
That was the key message from delegates attending a major international marine energy conference held in Orkney last week.
Plans to create an international research forum and global ocean energy network to drive progress in the sector will now be drawn up.
The three-day Global Ocean Energy Symposium – part of a programme of events marking the tenth anniversary of the Orkney based European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) – attracted wave and tidal experts from mainland Europe and as far afield as China, North America and Singapore.
Neil Kermode, managing director of EMEC, said: “The symposium was an enormous success and gave marine energy test centre colleagues from around the world the opportunity to see first hand the pioneering wave and tidal power work taking place here in Orkney.
“It was a privilege, during our tenth anniversary year, to showcase EMEC’s world-leading facilities to our international colleagues,demonstrating to them how marine energy activity is having a positive economic impact in the islands, and indeed Scotland. We think that being able to point to the success of Orkney will help them accelerate their own programmes.Two thirds of the planet is covered in oceans, so harvesting this energy will be a multinational challenge, with Scotland in the thick of it.
“We decided we wanted to build on the considerable momentum gained over the past decade through greater international collaboration and that’s why the symposium made a call for the creation of a formal global research forum for test centres.
“In addition to presenting a united front as the industry moves from its research and development phase towards full-scale commercialisation, this global network will act as a conduit for further peer to peer knowledge sharing and collaboration between marine energy test centres. Only by working together more closely can the industry overcome the challenges it will face over the next ten years and attract the vital private and public sector support and funding it will need to progress. Test facilities will play a central role in this effort, so it makes sense to create a forum that ensures we have an effective voice in the industry.”
Twenty delegates attended last week’s symposium – hosted by EMEC and supported by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) and Orkney Islands Council. Speakers from EMEC were joined by experts from the Scottish Government, Marine Scotland, The Crown Estate, Northern Lighthouse Board and HIE. Topics covered at the event included government policy and support, infrastructure, licensing, standards and safety.
Amongst the international delegates was Dr Belinda Batten, director of the Northwest National Marine Renewable Energy Centre in Oregon, USA.
She said: “It’s been a fantastic event, bringing together such a good cross section of people from around the world. In terms of what I’ll take away from the symposium, one of the biggest things for me has been the lessons learned by EMEC on all different fronts. In Oregon we’ve tested a non-grid connected, half-scale device in the ocean – the grid-connected facility is our future – and so to have a partner in EMEC is really beneficial. I think there’s real value in being able to learn from each other as we’re going through all the stages.”
Koh Eng Kiong, programme director with the Energy Research Institute at Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University, added: “I’ve found this gathering of all the stakeholders from test centres around the world very useful. It’s given a sense of the issues everyone is facing and reinforced the point that we need a common standard for marine energy testing.”