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Wave-power machine ready for tests

A new type of renewable-energy machine that converts wave power into 750kW of electricity has been unveiled in Scotland.

The wave-power converter was built in Leith and will now be transported to Orkney for testing to ready it for production.

The machine, which is 180m long and weighs 1,500t, was manufactured by Edinburgh-based firm Pelamis Wave Power (PWP) for the German energy giant E.On.

It was named Vagr Atferd, which is Norse for wave power, by Orkney schoolboy Matthew Rendall, who was in Leith for the launch. He was joined by Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond, who said the generator is “another significant step” in Scotland’s journey to become the green energy powerhouse of Europe.

An E.On spokeswoman said the Vagr Atferd machine will be tested at the European Marine Energy Centre in Orkney for three years while it is prepared for commercial use.

It is E.On’s first wave-power converter in the UK and was part-funded by the UK Government Carbon Trust’s Marine Renewables Proving Fund.

“The UK’s marine energy industry is rapidly coming of age”

Tom Delay, Carbon Trust

“This is another important landmark which shows the UK’s marine energy industry is rapidly coming of age. We have a clear lead in this sector and must now capitalise on this to secure maximum benefit in creating new jobs and revenue for the UK,” said Carbon Trust chief executive Tom Delay.

“The event marks a milestone in marine technology and the next exciting step for renewable energy in the UK,” said E.On UK chief executive Paul Golby.

“It’s essential that we continue to invest in new technologies, like the Vagr Atferd, to harness the power of nature and to accelerate our transition to a low-carbon economy.”

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