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Article Wave Energy - Towards Commercialisation
Author(s) David Langston, Matthew Seed (ICOE 2010)
Tags Oscillating Water Column, Wave energy, Reliability, Commercialisation
Type Papers
File Wave Energy - Towards Commercialisation

Abstract: Voith Hydro Wavegen has unrivalled experience of grid-connected wave energy plant. The LIMPET plant on the Scottish Island of Islay was commissioned in 2000, and has been supplying electricity to the national grid ever since. In addition this facility has enabled Voith Hydro Wavegen to develop a highly reliable power take off system, based on robustness and simplicity. With no moving parts in the water, and the equipment readily accessible for maintenance, the plant now consistently demonstrates availability comparable with conventional power plant. LIMPET also serves as a proving facility for new generation turbines, which deliver greater efficiency, and allow refinement of operations and maintenance processes.

Voith Hydro Wavegen is now involved in a number of commercial projects, with the Basque Energy Board's Mutriku project in Northern Spain at the forefront of grid connected projects in Europe. In addition, RWE npower renewables has planning consent for a 4 megawatt plant on the Isle of Lewis, off the North West coast of Scotland. In North America, Douglas County in Oregon holds a FERC Preliminary Permit for a 2-3 megawatt project, and has received support from the Oregon Wave Energy Trust to progress feasibility and environmental works.

Each project has its own unique drivers, but all are contributing to the progress of wave energy from prototypes and test sites to commercial deployment. Voith Hydro Wavegen will describe current projects, and explain how they are driving technical and economic development, leading to cost competitive wave energy. 

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