Aquamarine Power

Aquamarine Power Ltd.
Private limited company
Industry Renewable energy
Founded 2005 (2005)
Headquarters Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom
Key people
Mervyn Jones
Martin McAdam
(Chief Executive Officer)[1]
Products Wave power technologies

Aquamarine Power was a wave energy company, which was founded in 2005 to commercialise a wave energy device concept known as the Oyster wave energy converter. The company's head offices were based in Edinburgh. The company had further operations in Orkney, Ireland, Northern Ireland and the United States. Its chief executive officer was Martin McAdam, who joined the company in 2008.[2] The company was advised by Trevor Whittaker, inventor of the Oyster concept, and Stephen Salter, inventor of the Salter's Duck. [3][4] The company ceased to trade on 20 November 2015.


The Oyster concept originated from studies conducted in 2003 by the wave power research team at Queen's University, Belfast, led by Professor Trevor Whittaker. The Queen's University, Belfast studies were co-funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council[5] and Allan Thomson, who had previously founded and led the UK’s first commercial wave energy company, Wavegen.[6] In 2005, Allan Thomson founded Aquamarine Power to progress the commercialisation of the Oyster device. In 2007 Scottish & Southern Energy subsidiary Renewable Technology Ventures Limited invested in Aquamarine[7] with a further investment in 2010.[8] In February 2009, Aquamarine Power and Queen's University, Belfast signed an agreement to extend their R&D partnership to 2014.

In February 2009, Aquamarine Power signed an agreement with renewable energy company Airtricity, a subsidiary of Scottish & Southern Energy, to develop marine energy sites using the Oyster system.[9] In November 2009, the first full-scale, 315 kW,[10] demonstrator Oyster began producing power when it was launched at the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) on Orkney.[11][12]

In March 2012, Aquamarine announced it has plans to install 50 Oyster devices on the seabed off of the Western Isles in Scotland (provisionally dubbed the Orkney Wave Power Station). The project was intended to be able to supply electricity to more than 38,000 homes (2.4 MW in installed capacity).[13]


In November 2009 Aquamarine Power announced an investment of £11m in the business. The principal investor during this investment round was ABB Group who invested £8m.[14] The other investors during the round included Scottish and Southern Energy who invested £2.7m with other historical investors making up the balance of £300k.[15][16] The investors in the business include: ABB, SSE,[17] Sigma Capital Group,[18] Scottish Enterprise[19] and others.


Aquamarine Power won several awards. In 2008 it was named Emerging Technology Promoter of the Year by Ernst & Young Euromoney Global Renewable Energy Awards.[20] In 2009, it was named Innovator of the Year by the British Renewable Energy Association.[21] It also got Innovation Award for Energy of the Engineer Technology and Innovation Awards 2009[22] and Scottish Green Awards for the Best Green Industry SME.[23] In 2010 it was listed on GlobalCleantech 100 list.[24]


On 28 October 2015, BBC News reported that Aquamarine Power had called in administrators.[25] No buyer was found and less than a month later, on 20 November, the company ceased to trade with the loss of thirteen jobs.[26]

See also


  1. "About us: The team". Aquamarine Power. Retrieved 30 May 2012.
  7. "Wave and tidal power join forces". The Engineer. 1 October 2007. Retrieved 24 November 2015.
  9. Hurst, Greg. "Aquamarine Power signs agreement with Airtricity". The Times. London.
  13. "Displays of Edinburgh firm's wave power plan for Lewis". BBC News. 3 March 2012. Retrieved 5 March 2012.
  14. "Aquamarine Power secures major investment" (Press release). Scottish Enterprise. 24 November 2010. Retrieved 24 November 2015.
  16. "ABB Group invests £11m".
  25. "Aquamarine Power calls in administrators". BBC News. 28 October 2015.
  26. "Jobs lost as wave energy firm Aquamarine Power folds". BBC News. 23 November 2015.

External links

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