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Aquamarine, Airtricity plan 1,000 MW of ocean energy

Aquamarine, an affiliate of Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE), and renewable energy developer Airtricity, a division of SSE, are working to develop 1,000 MW of wave energy sites in the British Isles by 2020.

Aquamarine and Airtricity agreed in February 2009 to form a 50-50 joint venture to develop sites off the United Kingdom and Ireland. They said work on the first two sites has begun, with plans to advance additional sites over three years.

Wheeler said the agreement gives Airtricity, a wind and hydro developer, a first option on sites developed with Aquamarine expertise, said Airtricity Director Stephen Wheeler.

Study finds extensive ocean power potential in Chile

A study by the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB) finds Chile has a high potential for wave and tidal energy development.

Energy Minister Marcelo Tokman said the report confirms that Chile has great potential for ocean energy and details steps to follow in developing the new energy source.

The report identifies attributes and criteria for project selection and identifies priority areas to establish projects. It also indicated a need to implement specific measurements of ocean generating potential in certain areas of the country. In addition, the report said it is necessary to review site plans and existing infrastructure to take advantage of generation opportunities.

IADB is to promote research of the new technologies to support creation of a new market in Chile that can export knowledge to the world. The government of Chile previously announced plans to create a renewable energy center to serve as a clearinghouse and sponsor of non-conventional renewable energy sources for Chile and for South America.

The study was conducted by IADB in coordination with Chile’s economic development agency, Corporacion de Fomento de la Produccion (Corfo), and Comision Nacional de Energia.

Israel wave energy developer to supply units to China

Israel wave energy developer SDE Energy Ltd. will supply wave plants to China, with the first installation planned off Guangdong Province in southern China.

SDE Managing Director Shmuel Ovadia said two joint venture companies formed to implement the agreement plan to build an initial model in Guangzhou. It is to be deployed by the end of 2009. Once the model has been proven, Ovadia said the companies will begin installing the plants in China.

The Chinese government must approve the installations and is to purchase electricity generated by the plants, Ovadia said. Construction of the wave power plants is to be financed by investors from Hong Kong and China.

SDE’s technology converts the vertical motion of waves into hydraulic pressure, which is then used to generate electricity. The units, which are installed on breakwaters, rest on the surface of the ocean and are connected to the breakwater by a hydraulic arm. The units can produce energy from both the rising and falling of waves.

Ovadia said, to date, SDE has built eight model wave power plants, with financial assistance from the chief scientist of Israel’s Ministry of Industry and Trade.

Oceanlinx receives Australian development grant

Oceanlinx Ltd. of Australia is using a A$2.95 million (US$1.93 million) grant from the Australian government to design and test the next generation of Oceanlinx technology. The grant, awarded under the AusIndustry Climate Ready program, is to be matched by Oceanlinx.

The technology Oceanlinx is developing consists of wave generators tethered to the sea bottom that use oscillating water column technology. Wave action compresses air inside the unit, and that compressed air turns turbine-generators to produce electricity.

Oceanlinx said it successfully re-deployed its full-scale wave energy conversion unit at Port Kembla, Australia, in early February for continued testing. First deployed in 2005, the unit has been undergoing planned refurbishment and modifications for several months.

Briefly…

Voith Hydro and RWE Innogy formed Voith Hydro Ocean Current Technologies to develop ocean current power technologies and projects. The German companies said investment would total 30 million euros (US$37.8 million) over the next few years. … Finland-based utility Fortum and Swedish wave generator developer Seabased Industries are seeking government support to develop a 10-MW wave energy project off the west coast of Sweden.The firms submitted an application of interest to the Swedish Energy Agency for investment support of a full-scale wave power site to utilize 500 generating units. … Swedish utility Vattenfall has acquired a 51 percent stake in Pandion Ltd., an Irish ocean energy site development company, for 500,000 euros (US$648,225). Vattenfall said ocean energy developer Wavebob Ltd. will hold the remaining 49 percent of Pandion, which has applied for ocean energy sites on the west coast of Ireland. … British engine and power systems maker Rolls-Royce plans to embark on sea trials of a 500-kW tidal power turbine-generator in the United Kingdom in the summer of 2009, said Ric Parker, director of research and technology. The unit was developed with Tidal Generation Limited. Rolls-Royce says it plans to test a 1-MW version about 18 months later. … Npower renewables and wave energy developer Wavegen are moving forward with development of the 4-MW Siadar Wave Energy Project on the Isle of Lewis in the Hebrides Islands of Scotland. The companies received consent from the Scottish government for the project.


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