Aquatera Successfully Expanding into Growing US Renewables Market

September 14th 2009

This week Aquatera, one of Scotland's leading environmental and renewables companies, is returning to Oregon for the Oregon Wave Energy Trust (OWET)'s Wave Week event. 

The centre piece of the week-long programme is a conference at which Aquatera will be presenting the initial results of a 6-month project to establish a framework for examining cumulative effects associated with wave energy developments in Oregon. 

Aquatera, which operates out of Stromness in Orkney, won the OWET contract in February and is leading a collaborating team that includes the US-based consultancy firm, Parametrix, Vancouver-based Power Tech and the Orkney-based European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC). The cumulative effects project is one of a package of high priority research, baseline and feasibility studies that is being undertaken by OWET.

Dr Gareth Davies, MD of Aquatera commented "We were delighted to win the OWET contract for creating a cumulative effects framework and have found the work to date very stimulating and interesting. The set of conditions that exist in Oregon, with regards to possible wave energy development are quite specific to the area. We have been able to bring some experience from our earlier work in Scotland and elsewhere in the world, but have also developed bespoke aspects to the project, with particular help from Parametrix, our local Oregon-based partners."

The OWET contract was the first to be won by Aquatera in the US but has already been followed up by two further projects, one in collaboration with Parametrix looking at sustainable transport issues and a second using Aquatera’s RERA model and RADMAPP display package to help a US-based investor in marine renewables to find suitable sites for project development in Europe.

This international perspective is particularly important to Aquatera, as the company is currently also working on a wave energy-related project in Taiwan and is also collaborating on two EU studies. Aquatera has also worked in recent years in Sakhalin Island, Romania, Lybia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Uruguay.

Gareth Davies added "Marine renewables is an international business but we are exceptionally fortunate to be based at what is really the global centre of marine renewables development in Orkney. The hands-on experience that we have from the early wave and tidal technology deployments has given us an incredible insight into the opportunities, limitations and risks that the sector faces. We are now ready to take that local experience and assist other parts of the world in achieving their own marine renewables ambitions."