Page last updated at 09:06 GMT, Wednesday, 30 July 2008 10:06 UK

New turbine to harness wave power

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Making energy from waves

A turbine designed to be the forerunner of the UK's first commercial wave power station has been officially switched on in Argyll and Bute.

The device on Islay was set in motion by Scottish Energy Minister and local MSP Jim Mather.

Inverness-based Wavegen plans to install 40 of the turbines off Siader on Lewis in the Western Isles.

It would produce enough power for 1,500 homes and create a much-needed breakwater for boats.

'Growth sector'

Wavegen has been developing wave power devices for more than a decade. The newly-designed turbine converts the action of Atlantic breakers into electricity which is fed straight into the National Grid.

The turbine has been installed at the company's Limpet facility and was developed with support from the Scottish Government's Wave and Tidal Energy Support (Wates) scheme.

Mr Mather said: "The Scottish Government is determined to help make Scotland a world leader in the development and deployment of wave and tidal technologies."

Dr Roland Muench, of Voith Siemens Hydro - Wavegen's parent company - said he believed harnessing ocean energy would become a growth sector.


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