Developer seeks approvals for 7-mw Pembrokeshire
Wave energy developer Wave Dragon Ltd. is seeking approval to develop a 7-mw Pembrokeshire wave energy converter test site off the coast of Wales during the summer of 2008.
The United Kingdom’s Department of Trade and Industry and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs are considering Wave Dragon’s applications for offshore consents. The agencies are to meet with statutory consultees and discuss any concerns with Wave Dragon before making a decision.
Wave Dragon proposes completing final design and procurement by December 2007, as well as acquiring the necessary consents by the end of the year. Construction is scheduled to begin in January 2008, with deployment and grid connection of the converter in the summer of 2008.
The unit is to be tested for three to five years, to gain operational experience regarding the energy transfer efficiencies.
The Wave Dragon converter is a large floating barge with a main platform and wing-like “wave reflectors” that extend out from each side to funnel waves to the main platform. Cables attached to sand-filled steel blocks anchor the unit to the seabed.
The unit uses the potential energy of waves that overtop it and fill a shallow reservoir. The difference between the water surface in the reservoir and the normal surface of the ocean creates hydraulic head. Water in the reservoir passes through conventional low-head turbine-generators and is returned to the ocean.
Voith Siemens, Korea firm form tidal power venture
Voith Siemens Hydro Power Generation and Korean renewable en-ergy developer Renetec plan to work together to build the 600-mw Wando tidal power project in Wan-do Province of South Korea. Earlier this year, the two companies signed an agreement to form a joint venture to promote tidal current technology.
Voith Siemens holds 51 percent of the joint venture, which is to produce and market tidal power turbines. The units are to be mounted on bridge-like structures, three 1-mw windmill-like units per structure.
In 2005, Voith Siemens acquired Wavegen of the United Kingdom, which is developing wave power technology. Renetec has been involved in renewable energy development since 2001.
U.K.’s Mersey estuary tides could provide 700 mw
Capturing energy from the tides at the Mersey River estuary in the United Kingdom could provide capacity of as much as 700 mw, according to a white paper released earlier in 2007. The white paper on the United Kingdom’s future energy needs, Meeting the Energy Challenge, estimates this is enough capacity to electrify 260,000 homes.
The 700 mw capacity would be achieved by placing a giant waterwheel across the river. Other technologies proposed include:
- Creation of an artificial tidal lagoon in the open sea beyond the mouth of the river, with the flow of water used to generate electricity;
- Construction of a tidal fence of vertical turbines housed in submerged cells, built across the estuary;
- Design of a tidal gate, with the bottom part of the sluice equipped with a matrix of compact turbines; and
- Creation of a central area in the river that would hold a series of open stream turbines.
According to the paper, “Tidal power could make a significant contribution towards meeting the twin challenges of climate change and security of supply.” The 700-mw project could save 516,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year.
Peel Holdings, owner of the Peel Ports, and the Northwest Regional Development Agency co-sponsored development of the white paper.
— For more information, visit the Internet: www.merseytidalpower.co.uk.
Swedish utility boosts investment in Islandsberg
Swedish utility Vattenfall increased its investment to a total 13 million kronor (US$1.95 million) in the Islandsberg wave energy research area being developed with Sweden’s Uppsala University. Vattenfall previously invested 4 million kronor (US$602,700) in the project. The project is expected to cost a total of 50 million kronor (US$7.53 million).
The Islandsberg research area consists of ten generators to be deployed on a gradual basis up to 2009, 2 kilometers west of Islandsberg Peninsula at Lysekil, on Sweden’s west coast.
Other investors include Statens Energimyndighet, the Swedish energy agency; power producers Goteborgs Energi and Falkenberg Energi; and suppliers and manufacturers.
Vattenfall is evaluating different wave power technologies, the environmental effects of wave plants, economic conditions, network connections, and local issues.
EDF unit wins pact to utilize CETO technology
EDF Energies Nouvelles SA announces it will develop wave energy projects using proprietary technology supplied by United Kingdom-based Renewable Energy Holdings plc (REH).
The Electricité de France unit says it will develop projects in the Northern Hemisphere and on Reunion Island, a French overseas department off the east coast of Africa, using REH’s CETO technology.
CETO features a wave power converter that sits on the seabed. It transmits high-pressure seawater ashore through a small pipe. The water is used either to power a turbine-generator or for reverse osmosis to produce fresh water.
REH has the right to participate in each of EDF Energies Nouvelles’ CETO wave power projects with equity interest of between 25 and 49 percent. REH will grant technology licenses to project operating subsidiaries for a payment of 2 to 3 percent of the total project cost.
EDF Energies Nouvelles also agrees to purchase 6 million new shares in REH for a total of 3 million pounds (US$6 million). The funds are to be used for completing a prototype and for industrial development of CETO technology.
AWS Ocean Energy to install wave unit in Scotland
AWS Ocean Energy Ltd. will install a 250-kw AWS 2 wave energy project at the European Marine Energy Center (EMEC) in Scotland’s Orkney Islands in 2008. The installation will feature the company’s Archimedes Wave Swing prototype.
Following the 2008 installation, AWS says it plans to construct its first mini-wave farm of 500-kw Archimedes units by the third quarter of 2009. AWS received 2.128 million pounds (US$4.16 million) from the Scottish Executive for this work. Grant Bibby, operations director at AWS, says the company expects to have installed more than 100 units by 2013.
AWS installed a successful pilot project in Portugal in 2004 and advanced engineering development of the technology. The company plans rigorous testing at EMEC to validate the technology’s performance in a range of weather conditions.
AW-Energy Oy of Finland says it plans to install a pilot WaveRoller unit in the ocean off Peniche, Portugal, in the summer of 2008. This module can be scaled up to 1 mw. … Wave power developer Wavegen is to supply 16 units to the 300-kw Mutriku wave project in Spain. The project is to be commissioned in 2008-2009.