Aquamarine Power

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Aquamarine Power Ltd.
TypePrivate limited company
IndustryRenewable energy
Founded2005 (2005)
Scotland, United Kingdom
Key people
Mervyn Jones
Martin McAdam
(Chief Executive Officer)[1]
ProductsWave power technologies
Number of employees

Aquamarine Power was a wave energy company, founded in 2005 to commercialise the Oyster wave energy converter, a device to capture energy from near-shore waves. The company's head offices were in Edinburgh, Scotland.[2] The company ceased to trade on 20 November 2015.[3]


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 studies were co-funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council[4] and Allan Thomson, who had previously founded and led the UK's first commercial wave energy company, Wavegen.[5]

In 2005, 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[6] with a further investment in 2010.[7] In February 2009, Aquamarine Power and Queen's University signed an agreement to extend their R&D partnership to 2014.[8][9]

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.[10] In November 2009, the first full-scale, 315 kW,[11] demonstrator Oyster began producing power when it was launched at the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) on Orkney.[12][13]

In March 2012, Aquamarine announced plans to install 50 Oyster devices on the seabed off 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).[14]

Key people[edit]

The company's chief executive officer was Martin McAdam, who joined in 2008.[15] The company was advised by Trevor Whittaker, inventor of the Oyster concept, and by Stephen Salter, inventor of the Salter's Duck.[16][17]


In November 2009, Aquamarine Power announced an investment of £11 million in the business. The principal investor during this investment round was ABB Group who invested £8 million.[18][self-published source?] The other investors during the round included Scottish and Southern Energy who invested £2.7 million with other historical investors making up the balance of £300k.[19] The investors in the business include: ABB, SSE,[20] Sigma Capital Group,[21] Scottish Enterprise[22] and others.


Aquamarine Power won several awards. In 2008, it was named Emerging Technology Promoter of the Year in the Ernst & Young Euromoney Global Renewable Energy Awards.[23] In 2009, it was named Innovator of the Year by the British Renewable Energy Association.[24] It also received the Innovation Award for Energy at the Engineer Technology and Innovation Awards 2009[25] and Scottish Green Awards for the Best Green Industry SME.[26] In 2010 it was listed on the GlobalCleantech 100 list.[27]


On 28 October 2015, BBC News reported that Aquamarine Power had called in administrators.[28] No buyer was found and less than a month later, on 20 November, the company ceased to trade with the loss of fourteen jobs.[29][30][2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "About us: The team". Aquamarine Power. Archived from the original on 28 May 2012. Retrieved 30 May 2012.
  2. ^ a b Mackie, Gareth (15 December 2015). "Aquamarine Power administrators seek sale of IP". The Scotsman. Retrieved 16 December 2017.
  3. ^ "Jobs lost as wave energy firm folds". BBC News. 23 November 2015. Retrieved 20 July 2020.
  4. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 19 March 2009. Retrieved 22 May 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  5. ^ "Wave Energy Wave Power Clean Renewable Electricity Generation - Wavegen". Archived from the original on 8 August 2008. Retrieved 19 January 2010.
  6. ^ "Wave and tidal power join forces". The Engineer. 1 October 2007. Retrieved 24 November 2015.
  7. ^ "SSE - News articles". Archived from the original on 19 September 2012. Retrieved 6 April 2012.
  8. ^ "Queen's University Energy Partnership Makes Waves for UK". Renewable Energy World. 12 February 2009. Retrieved 23 September 2020.
  9. ^ "Queen's Belfast extends wave power collaboration with Aquamarine". Science|Business. Retrieved 23 September 2020.
  10. ^ Hurst, Greg. "Aquamarine Power signs agreement with Airtricity". The Times. London.
  11. ^ "AMP - AMP". AMP. Retrieved 17 April 2018.
  12. ^ "EMEC: European Marine Energy Centre - Wave Energy Developers". Archived from the original on 7 January 2010. Retrieved 19 January 2010.
  13. ^ "Home".
  14. ^ "Displays of Edinburgh firm's wave power plan for Lewis". BBC News. 3 March 2012. Retrieved 5 March 2012.
  15. ^ (20 August 2008). "New boss for Aquamarine Power". Retrieved 17 April 2018.
  16. ^ "AMP - AMP". AMP. Archived from the original on 11 February 2011. Retrieved 17 April 2018.
  17. ^ "AMP - AMP". AMP. Archived from the original on 2 December 2013. Retrieved 17 April 2018.
  18. ^ "Aquamarine Power secures major investment" (Press release). Scottish Enterprise. 24 November 2010. Archived from the original on 24 November 2015. Retrieved 24 November 2015.
  19. ^ "SSE Venture Capital - The Edinburgh Reporter". Retrieved 17 April 2018.
  20. ^ "Aquamarine Power secures first £10M for wave energy tech | Cleantech Group". Archived from the original on 14 December 2010. Retrieved 21 December 2010.
  21. ^ "Aquamarine Power waves hello to £6m investment". 21 June 2010. Retrieved 17 April 2018.
  22. ^ "Scottish Enterprise Media Centre". Archived from the original on 16 May 2011. Retrieved 21 December 2010.
  23. ^$File/Renewable_Energy_Country_Attractiveness_Indices_Q3_2008.pdf[permanent dead link]
  24. ^ "Innovator Award — Renewable Energy Association". Archived from the original on 14 March 2010. Retrieved 19 January 2010.
  25. ^ "Engineer Awards". Archived from the original on 15 January 2010. Retrieved 19 January 2010.
  26. ^ "Scottish Green Awards". Archived from the original on 8 May 2010. Retrieved 19 January 2010.
  27. ^ "GlobalCleantech100". Archived from the original on 15 October 2010. Retrieved 13 October 2010.
  28. ^ "Aquamarine Power calls in administrators". BBC News. 28 October 2015.
  29. ^ "Jobs lost as wave energy firm Aquamarine Power folds". BBC News. 23 November 2015.
  30. ^ Macnab, Scott (9 December 2015). "Scots taxpayers lose £35m in failed renewables firms". The Scotsman. Retrieved 16 December 2017.