The UK government has today awarded a total of £20m ($30.3m) to two marine renewable energy companies.

MeyGen and Sea Generation Wales will use the cash for the development and testing of pre-commercial marine devices in array formations at sea.

The two firms were the winners of a funding competition run under the government’s Marine Energy Array Demonstrator scheme. Bids were judged on a range of criteria including the ability to generate a minimum of 7 GW per year and the use of at least three generating devices, previously demonstrated at full scale in sea conditions.

MeyGen will test its project in the Pentland Firth off Scotland using Andritz Hydro Hammerfest 1.4 MW turbines, while Sea Generation Wales will utilise Siemens’ SeaGen-S 2 MW turbines.

UK Energy and Climate Change Minister Greg Barker said the funding will give the two companies “the boost they need to leap to the next level and test their innovative turbines in formations out at sea”.

“These projects will provide valuable insight into how best to harness the power of the sea and take us one vital step closer to realising the full potential of marine in our future energy mix.”