River Energy Systems, based in Methil, has developed the device and is hoping to move into production this year, thanks to support from Scottish Enterprise and a contribution of £260,000 under the SMART Research & Development initiative. The support was awarded to help the company undertake development of the device to the point where it can be commercialised.
The river device, named Hydros, is based on a helical screw which rotates with the movement of the water to generate electrical power. It is scaleable to any river size, sits under the water line and is designed to have a minimal impact on the river environment.
The Crown Estate has already granted a lease for a device to be placed in a larger river and market opportunities have been identified in Scotland, UK and overseas. As the product is easily scaleable it offers effective results to a number of different markets from private estates to local authorities.
Paul Trayner, managing director of River Energy Systems, said, “It is exciting that we are now able to demonstrate this device to potential investors and customers. This trial device, which was designed and manufactured in Fife, could, itself, supply a typical house with its energy needs so the opportunity for a much bigger river is significant.”
Ronnie McKechan, Account Manager of Scottish Enterprise said, “This kind of innovation is potentially very important both to the energy market but also to the Fife economy. We are keen to see the working prototype move into production and are very encouraged that River Energy Systems have a number of key customers and markets showing interest in the concept. “
Cllr Tom Adam, chair of Levenmouth Area Committee said, “Fife is fast becoming recognised as a centre of excellence in the renewables industry and the continuing innovation and manufacturing opportunities are great news for jobs and the local economy. The new concept we have seen today is proof indeed that supporting businesses in FRIC and the Energy Park Fife is producing great results. It’s also great to hear that if successful this project will create jobs locally too.”