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ABB invests in Scottish renewable energy company

Company invests in tidal power

Power and automation technology group ABB has invested about $13m in Aquamarine Power, a Scottish company that has developed technology to convert energy captured from waves near shore into clean, usable electricity.

The company's venture capital arm, ABB Technology Ventures, made the investment in a funding round that also included a $4.8m investment from SSE Venture Capital, the venture capital unit of Scottish and Southern Energy and other investors.

The investment provides ABB an entry into the emerging marine energy market, where the company has considerable pull-through sales potential for its power systems, power electronics and medium-voltage drives, the company said.

Aquamarine's Oyster wave power device consists of a hinged mechanical flap connected to the nearshore seabed that pipes high-pressure water to an onshore turbine for power generation.

In November 2009, the first full-scale demonstrator Oyster began producing power at the European Marine Energy Center based in the Orkney Islands, Scotland.