Search is on for a novel wave energy converter
Wave Energy Scotland’s (WES) second competitive project call is now underway with the search for novel wave energy converter devices.
The national research and development body for the wave energy sector in Scotland is inviting applications for project costs via a contract for research and development services to develop novel wave energy converters.
Applicants will need to have already identified a concept and carried our preliminary feasibility work. WES will only seek to support truly novel devices which have not been developed and characterised before. However, WES will consider supporting existing device concepts which have previously progressed to higher levels of maturity but where significant improvement potential has been identified (and can be demonstrated) and it would therefore be appropriate to return to an earlier stage.
This is the second in a series of competitive calls from Wave Energy Scotland. The first call, for innovative power take-off Systems (PTO), closed on the 22nd of May and received a wide range of applications through the various call stages. The applications also came from a broad spectrum of industry sectors and geographical locations. It is currently anticipated that the outcome of the PTO Call will be announced by the middle of August.
Tim Hurst, Managing Director, Wave Energy Scotland commented: “This call is specifically designed to support wave technology developers who have taken an idea through the initial stages of the feasibility work. It is all about being able to prove the credibility of that work by providing evidence of the concept’s scientific, technical and engineering data. However, we will consider technologies which need to go back to more early stage testing because the work to date has identified a significant potential to do things differently.
“We believe this approach will form a viable and long term route for wave technology development. Ultimately we want to see the testing of scale prototype devices. This is the point where wave energy will become interesting to private investors once more. When that happens, WES will take a huge step nearer to its goal to support the production of a wave energy device which can generate commercially viable electricity from wave energy.”
Applications for the call must be made through Public Contracts Scotland (PCS) [see notes to editors]. Interested parties must register with Public Contracts Scotland where, once they have recorded an interest in the Call, they will be able to download the call documentation, ask questions and upload applications.
Energy Minister Fergus Ewing commented: “This is an important day for Wave Energy Scotland. This second project call is a key opportunity for innovative technology developers to get involved in Wave Energy Scotland and come up with genuinely novel ideas which provide solutions for the cost effective generation of electricity from wave energy.
“We recognise the wide range of expertise that exists beyond the energy sector. Wave Energy Scotland is a great platform for a collaborative effort between various industries and gives us the chance to support developers in Scotland find a resolution to the challenges which have been present in the wave energy sector.”
There are three stages to the novel wave energy converter call, with the ultimate aim of producing a scale prototype device. The competition is for the first stage where contracts may be awarded for up to £300k per project over a twelve month period for concept characterisation and refinement. Applicants are welcome to add their own funding to the project if desired. The overall budget available from WES for projects is up to £2.4m.
At the end of Stage 1 the best performing technologies which meet the long term WES objectives, whose outputs meet the required performance expectations and satisfy the stage gate review criteria for the relevant stages will be eligible to progress to Stage 2 and subsequently Stage 3. This will be via a closed competition between applicants within the programme and up to 100% of costs will be available.
A webinar and a brokerage event will be held as part of the application process. The webinar will allow potential applicants an opportunity to hear about WES and the call itself. The brokerage event will allow potential applicants the opportunity to meet members of the Scottish industry and investigate partnerships.
Registration will be required for both the Webinar and Brokerage Event for those who wish to participate and/or attend the event. Details will be provided on PCS nearer the time.
Wave Energy Scotland is a subsidiary of Highlands and Islands Enterprise. WES is fully funded by the Scottish Government, which has allocated £14.3m for the period to the end of March 2016. For more information on WES, please go to www.waveenergyscotland.co.uk
Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) is an economic and community development agency delivering Scotland’s economic strategy across a region which covers more than half of Scotland.
With around 300 staff, HIE supports hundreds of client businesses and social enterprises; strengthens communities, particularly in fragile areas; develops growth sectors, and invests in infrastructure to create a more competitive and low carbon region.