Metso to automate ocean-surge-based demo power plant in Portugal

Metso will develop and supply an automation system to AW-Energy Ltd.'s demo power plant, the first one in the world to generate electricity from the surge, a form of ocean energy, Metso announced.

The Finland-based company will expand its present pilot equipment to a 300-kW demonstration power plant in Peniche, Portugal, during 2011. The renewable energy harnessed from the Atlantic Ocean will be transferred through a sea cable to the national grid.

AW-Energy has developed and patented the WaveRoller technology to harness wave energy. The equipment is anchored on the sea bottom at a depth of 10-20 meters and takes advantage of the back-and-forth movement of the surge. Other solutions available on the market generate energy from the surface movements of the ocean. Sustainability of the new technology is proven by the fact that the demo plant was granted its construction permit in Portugal's Natura 2000, an area classified as a Special Protected Area (SPA) in Europe, according to a press release.

Metso will supply a Metso DNA automation system to this unmanned power plant to control its operation around the clock. The task is a challenging one because the process stations are located underwater. The delivery also includes an information system to analyze the prevailing wave conditions. Both systems are the first of their kind in the world, a press release states.

Founded in 2002 and headquartered in Vantaa, Finland, AW-Energia Ltd. designs, manufactures and develops advanced wave energy technology.

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