Penguin producing power
Finland’s Wello Penguin wave energy converter (WEC) has successfully generated electricity into the national grid off the west coast of Orkney, UK.
The Penguin device was installed at the European Marine Energy Centre’s (EMEC’s) grid-connected wave test site at Billia Croo at the beginning of March by Orkney-based Green Marine.
This is the first of three WEC’s due to be installed at EMEC over the next three years as part of the CEFOW (Clean Energy from Ocean Waves) project, funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme.
Led by Fortum, the generation of power is a major milestone within the CEFOW project which aims to ready the Penguin technology for commercialisation by developing the first grid-connected wave energy array in the UK, focusing on lowering the levelised cost of energy and developing an efficient supply chain to support larger wave power projects in the future.
Mikko Muoniovaara, senior project manager at Fortum, said: “This is a very exciting period in the project for us, and the Wello office in Orkney has been buzzing with people eager to watch the screens showing the live generation feeds. This last month has proven the viability of the Penguin concept, as not only can the technology survive in the harsh waves around Orkney, but it can generate power from them. For Fortum, this is very promising progress.”
Neil Kermode, EMEC managing director, added: “This is a tremendous milestone for Wello and all CEFOW partners, but also for the wave energy sector as a whole. Not only has Wello’s Penguin survived heavy swell and stormy conditions since being deployed, it is now generating power into the local grid.
“Congratulations to everyone who has worked towards this moment, and we look forward to the future learning that will come from this project.”
The CEFOW consortium spans the full value chain including research organisations, wave converter technology developers, marine service providers and a large multi-national utility company.
Clean Energy From Ocean Waves (CEFOW) is a European Commission research and innovation programme Horizon 2020 funded research project coordinated by Fortum.
The mission of the five-year project is to research and develop the use of the Penguin wave energy converter, developed by the Finnish company Wello, in electrical-grid-connected ocean conditions. The multi-device test project will be carried out at the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC).
The CEFOW consortium spans the full value chain including research organisations, wave converter technology developers, marine service providers and a large multi-national utility company. In addition to Fortum, the joint project consists of Wello Ltd, Green Marine (UK) Ltd, Uppsala University, Plymouth University, the University of Exeter and EMEC.
Fortum, a multi-national energy utility, believes that a transition to a Solar Economy, where energy production is based solely on renewable energy sources, is inevitable, although gradual. As an inexhaustible and emissions-free energy form, wave power can play an important role in the future, and that is why it is also a key focus area in Fortum's research and development work. Fortum is responsible for coordinating the Clean Energy From Ocean Waves (CEFOW) project which will take place at EMEC’s test facility, where Fortum is installing a grid connected wave power array.
SAY HELLO TO WELLO
Finnish wave energy technology provider Wello has developed and successfully tested a single Penguin device in Scotland since 2012. The Penguin device is the most advanced device today, when measured in terms of power conversion capability and survivability. Penguin is also the only semi-permanently deployed megawatt scale floating wave energy converter. The CEFOW project will see three Penguin devices deployed at the EMEC test site to complete the wave array.
Established in 2003, EMEC is the world’s leading facility for testing wave and tidal energy converters in real sea conditions. The centre offers independent, accredited grid-connected test berths for full-scale prototypes, as well as test sites in less challenging conditions for use by smaller scale technologies, supply chain companies, and equipment manufacturers.
To date, more marine energy converters have been deployed in Orkney, Scotland, than at any other single site in the world with 18 wave and tidal energy clients spanning 10 countries having tested 28 marine energy devices.
With over 13 years of unprecedented experience, EMEC also offers performance assessments, Environmental Technology Verification (ETV), a range of research and consultancy services, and has facilitated the development of international standards for marine energy.
Green Marine(UK) Ltd is an established marine services provider based in Stromness, Orkney, and the winner of several industry awards for their innovative approach to cost effective safe marine operations.
Green Marine's involvement in the CEFOW project is to design a safe and cost effective installation and maintenance plan along with the other partners. Green Marine is responsible for installing the mooring infrastructure, cabling and installing the Penguin devices onsite along with ongoing maintenance over the full term of the project. Green Marine has its own fleet of vessels, engineering team and experienced crews to meet the projects requirements.
By Jake Frith
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