Major new investment for company founded by Heriot-Watt student

First Minister Alex Salmond shakes hands with Barry Johnston (centre)

Scotrenewables Tidal Power Limited (SRTP), founded by Heriot-Watt PhD student Barry Johnston, has been awarded a major financial package totalling £8.4m, which includes £1.24m in public funding from the Scottish Government as well as £7.6m in private investment from a trio of multinational backers.

In 2002 Barry was able to start in business on his own with the award of a Royal Society of Edinburgh Fellowship in association with Heriot-Watt's International Centre for Island Technology. The new financing will fund the design, construction, installation and testing of the next generation commercial-scale Scotrenewables Tidal Turbine, known as the SR2000, scheduled for completion in Spring 2014. It will incorporate results from successful grid-connected testing of a current prototype and will be optimised for a fully commercial 20-year design life. The SR2000 will be the first of a number of commercial SRTT units installed in the Lashy Sound tidal demonstrator project in Orkney.

I welcome this investment, which is further evidence of Scotland surging ahead in the green energy revolution

Alex Salmond, First Minister

Announcing the investment deal during First Minister's Questions at the Scottish Parliament, First Minister Alex Salmond said, "Scotrenewables' announcement today of the details of their foreign investment package worth £7.6 million is terrific news and a huge vote of confidence in the Scottish offshore renewables industry.

"This deal brings in a substantial amount of private funding from overseas, more than £6 in foreign investment for every £1 of public money. It is another example of how public money can be used to leverage private investment and help support industry to reach ever-more ambitious heights.

"I welcome this investment, which is further evidence of Scotland surging ahead in the green energy revolution."

The deal will see both of SRTP's long-standing investors, shipping and renewable energy specialists Fred. Olsen and oil major TOTAL, participating in this round along with a new investor partner in ABB Technology Ventures (ABB-TV) is the venture capital arm of the Swiss power and automation multinational. ABB-TV will contribute £5m while the remaining £2.6m will come from SRTP's existing investors.

Barry Johnston, Founder & Chief Executive Officer of Scotrenewables, said, "It is very positive not only that we have agreed terms in respect of a significant new investment from ABB-TV but also that our existing investors will be participating in this investment round. This is a major step on the road to making the company a real clean-energy success story."

Barry also has several other privately owned ventures in commercial scale wind turbine developments and work vessel chartering.