An award-winning University of Strathclyde spin-out company has been awarded £1.4 million to help it harness tidal energy.
Nautricity will use the grant towards the total cost of building and testing its CoRMaT tidal current turbine in the sea south of Machrihanish, Argyll, Scotland.
The award was part of the £7.9 million WATERS 2 funding package announced by Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, aimed at helping Scottish firms to secure an increased share of the international marine energy market – which could be worth up to £4 billion to the country's economy by 2020.
Cameron Johnstone, chief executive officer of Nautricity, said: "We are delighted to be chosen as one of the companies to take a new generation of tidal energy technology forward.
"We were already well advanced with plans to deploy our CoRMaT technology – but this award helps significantly to accelerate this deployment.
"Nautricity welcomes the Deputy First Minister's announcement of the launch of the WATERS 2 programme, further demonstrating Scotland as the vanguard of next generation wave and tidal energy.
"This award accelerates Nautricity's business development by facilitating the commercial demonstration of its CoRMaT technology; thus providing a springboard for both domestic and international market development."
Ms Sturgeon said: "The WATERS 2 funding sends a further clear signal that Scotland – already blessed with some of the world's greatest concentrations of marine energy resource and with unrivalled offshore energy engineering expertise – will continue to provide the optimum research and investment environment for developers and commercial partners.
"By supporting a range of wave and tidal technologies at various stages of development towards commercialisation and the goal of large-scale, sea-powered electricity generation, we can stimulate innovation, investment, job creation and help protect the planet for future generations."
Glasgow-based Nautricity's device – capable of generating 500kW of electricity – uses a patented rotor system that allows it to overcome many of the problems that previously made tidal energy production economically unviable.
The innovative Nautricity design uses two rotors which turn in opposite directions, making it extremely stable and removing the need for expensive, fixed foundations. It can be deployed in depths of up to 500m and does not emit any pollutants.
The firm has signed a lease agreement to develop the Kintyre installation with The Crown Estate, which owns the UK seabed out to 12 nautical miles. Nautricity will engage with the local community to ensure the project proceeds with its understanding and co-operation.
The CoRMaT marine turbine was honoured by the Energy Institute who awarded it their prestigious Technology Award in 2009.
The four other marine energy developers who shared in the funding announced by Ms Sturgeon were ScotRenewables Tidal Power Ltd, AlbaTERN Ltd, AWS Ocean Energy and Oceanflow Development.
WATERS is a collaboration between the Scottish Government, Scottish Enterprise and Highlands and Islands Enterprise, with funding from the European Regional Development Fund. The WATERS 2 fund opened for applications in February, to projects that could be completed by the end of March 2014.
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