Page last updated at 10:42 GMT, Monday, 18 May 2009 11:42 UK

Google plays down wave power plan

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Google says it files for many patents on ideas from its staff

Google has played down reports that it plans to use wave energy from the Pentland Firth to power computers.

Newspaper reports said the company had filed a patent for boats carrying a network of powerful computers driven by electricity generated from the sea.

However, a spokeswoman said the company applied for many patents, only some of which came to fruition.

She added: "Prospective product announcements should not necessarily be inferred from our patent applications."

The firth between mainland Scotland and Orkney is already the focus of proposed "green" power projects.

The Scottish Government is keen to see its potential realised.

It has commissioned a planning document to help guide development of the area.

'Strong winds'

In March, Stakraft, a state-owned company based in Norway, became the lead investor in a project in Caithness to build an onshore "data centre" powered by tidal energy.

Atlantis Resources Corporation is leading the project, which would see companies renting space in warehouses to store computer servers.

Instead of output being pumped into the National Grid, all the generated power would be used to power and keep equipment cool.

Low temperatures and strong winds in the area would mean that less cooling equipment would be needed.

It is hoped the project could come on stream by 2012.

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