Aquamarine Power Ltd, a Scotland-based wave technology developer, has agreed a ‘ground-breaking’ £3.4m ($5.5m) loan with Barclays Corporate.

The loan for completing the 2.4 MW Oyster array at the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) in Orkney is the first bank debt finance for a UK marine energy project, said Aquamarine.

The loan is to be repaid over five years from revenue from the Oyster array. The finance will be used to add two 800 kW Oyster wave-power devices in 2012 and 2013 to a single unit installed in August.

“For us this opens the door to securing debt finance for our first pre-commercial 10 MW project, which will commence in 2014,” said Aquamarine CEO Martin McAdam.

“The key for the industry will be finding the means to secure debt for these early stage projects without the need to rely on parent company support.”

The marine energy industry last year raised $58m, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance data. By comparison the wind industry raised $7.59bn in public markets and $1.33bn in private capital, according to Bloomberg. ABB Ltd invested £8m in Aquamarine last November.

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