UK: Saltire Prize Medal Award Goes to Professor Peter Fraenkel

UK: Saltire Prize Medal Award Goes to Professor Peter Fraenkel

A pioneer for the development of marine turbines is the winner of this year’s Saltire Prize Medal Award.

Professor Peter Fraenkel, MBE, who has been involved in the marine energy industry for more than thirty years, was presented with the award by Finance Secretary John Swinney at the Scottish Renewables Conference dinner in Edinburgh last night.

Professor Fraenkel was a co-founder of IT Power in 1981, the firm which developed the world’s first tidal turbine tested on Loch Linnhe in 1994.  He then went on to Marine Current Turbines (MCT).

The Saltire Prize Medal, is part of the £10 million marine energy challenge, The Saltire Prize, and recognises outstanding contributions by individuals or groups to the development of wave and/or tidal generation.

Mr Swinney also announced that a fifth competitor has entered the race for the challenge prize.  West Islay Tidal Park Energy Ltd has recently secured a Crown Estate lease to develop the 30 megawatt tidal array off the West Coast of Islay.

Finance Secretary John Swinney said:

“I am delighted to present the Saltire Medal Prize award to Professor Frankel.  He has contributed significantly to the development of tidal energy, not only in Scotland, but across the world.

“His commitment to innovation in this industry is unsurpassed.  He was involved the development of the world’s first tidal turbine, which is in the hands of the Museum of Scotland and it is fitting that he is recognised for his great achievements in this area.

“The Saltire Prize is pushing forward innovation in clean, green marine renewables. It is putting Scotland at the forefront of a new global energy and it exemplifies Scottish Government ambitions.  It was created to accelerate the deployment of the first wave and tidal farms in Scottish waters and I am pleased that another company,  West Islay Tidal Park Energy Ltd, is entering the competition.”

Professor Peter Fraenkel said:

“It is a surprise and a great honour to receive the Saltire Medal.  I feel I am in excellent company with the previous winners, both leading pioneers of wave energy.  

“It is pleasing for me that this year it is tidal stream which is being honoured as a marine renewable.  It is also appropriate, since my first project in this field was in Scotland with Scottish partners, in the Corran Narrows, near Fort William and in fact became the world’s first tidal turbine.”

Chief Executive of Scottish Renewables Niall Stuart  said:

“Peter’s contribution to marine energy has been remarkable, spanning over three decades and encapsulating the spirit of innovation and commitment to excellence which is a hallmark of the marine energy sector in Scotland today.

“I am sure the expertise he has demonstrated throughout his work with Marine Current Turbines and at the University of Edinburgh will benefit the marine industry for many years to come.

“Scottish Renewables is delighted to support this recognition of Peter’s achievements and his international reputation as a pioneer in the field. He is a truly worthy recipient of the Saltire Prize Medal.”

Simon De Pietro of DP Marine Energy, which is part of West Islay Tidal Park Energy Ltd, said:

“We are immensely grateful  that Peter’s vision and energy have  brought the marine industry to the point where we can demonstrate the reality that the sea will provide us with an invaluable source of renewable energy. 

“DP Marine Energy, an Irish Renewable Energy Developer and  DEME Blue Energy Belgian marine contractor (together with  NUHMA a Belgian Utility)  are sharing their substantial experience of  obtaining energy from  wind and have joined forces to enter the Saltire Prize Challenge to install  an array of tidal turbines  in Scottish waters to obtain energy from the seas. 

“The Saltire challenge has stimulated  international competition  to achieve what should be the world’s first  tidal energy park converting  Scotland’s enormous natural marine energy resource to clean electricity .” 

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Press release, March 19, 2013; Image: MCT