Vattenfall has underlined its ambitions in the marine energy market with the announcement of plans to develop a major wave power farm near the UK’s Shetland Islands.

The Swedish energy giant has launched a joint venture with Pelamis Wave Power, the Edinburgh-based technology firm, to develop a plant that could achieve an installed capacity of 20 MW by 2014.

The move follows the acquisition earlier this year by Vattenfall of a 51 per cent stake in Pandion Ltd., an ocean energy site development. That deal could see the Swedish firm develop wave power stations with Wavebob, which owns the remaining 49 per cent of Pandion.

Vattenfall and Pelamis’ joint venture firm, Aegir Wave Power Ltd., says that its proposed project could use up to 25 Pelamis P2 machines and could be expanded to a “much greater capacity”. It has already announced information meetings for local representatives on the Shetland Islands, where waters have “very close to ideal conditions” for wave energy.

Pelamis’ technology consists of 150-180 m-long floating tubes that move with the waves. Generators positioned between the different sections of the tubes transform the tubes’ movement into energy.

“We are delighted to be working with Vattenfall on this ground breaking project which we hope will be one of many for our Scottish built P-2 Pelamis machine,” said Neels Kriek, Pelamis CEO. “We also anticipate this project being a leading candidate for the Scottish government’s Saltire Prize for commercially proven wave power technology.”

Vattenfall says that if planning consents are granted and the planned Shetland-Scotland subsea cable is constructed on time, the project could achieve 20 MW of output by 2014.