Wave power firm Pelamis goes into administration

A Pelamis wave power device docked in Leith. Picture: Jane Barlow
A Pelamis wave power device docked in Leith. Picture: Jane Barlow
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A WORLD-LEADING Scottish wave energy firm is being put into administration after failing to raise sufficient funds to develop its renewable technology.

Pelamis Wave Power (PWP) invented the pioneering “sea snake” energy converter, which uses the motion of ocean surface waves to create electricity.

The machine is made up of linked sections which flex and bend as waves pass, generating power in the process.

It won inventor Dr Richard Yemm the 2012 Saltire Prize medal for his outstanding contribution to developing the marine renewables sector.

But in a statement, the Edinburgh-based firm said it was “reluctantly” moving to appoint an administrator.

“The directors regret to announce that they have been unable to secure the additional funding required for further development of the company’s market-leading wave-energy technology,” the statement said.

“Pelamis is the world’s most advanced wave-energy technology company. It recently received a strong endorsement of this leading position from independent consultants.”

The statement also detailed “350 man-years of experience in the team, [and] 15,000 hours of real grid-connected test data”.

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PWP said the administrator will assess options for the future of the business and its 56 employees, while the company remained committed to its “revolutionary technology”.

The firm was regarded as one of Scotland’s two great hopes in the quest to create clean renewable energy from wave power. The other is “Oyster” inventor Aquamarine Power, which has backing from shareholders including energy giant SSE.

Industry experts highlighted the difficulties faced by the sector but commended the key role PWP has played.

Lindsay Leask, of industry body Scottish Renewables, said: “While this news is clearly concerning for the company and its employees, it shows both the challenging conditions in which this sector operates and the risks inherent in developing new technology.

“PWP’s contribution to this emerging industry has helped cement Scotland’s position as a global leader, and it is important to remember that the prize from the eventual commercialisation of wave energy remains hugely significant.”

Last year, the firm was awarded a share of the Scottish Government’s £18 million Marine Renewables Commercialisation Fund to help bring the sea snake to market.

A government spokesman said: “This is a sad day for Pelamis and an anxious time for employees and their families.”

SEE ALSO

• 600ft ‘sea snake’ to harness power of Scotland

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