UK using wave energy to generate electricity

Green Marine transport the Penguin to European Marine Energy Centre wave test site

A wave energy converter, produced by technology company Wello, has successfully generated electricity into the national grid off the west coast of Orkney, Scotland.

Tidal and wave energy installation company, Green Marine, installed the Penguin wave energy converter at the beginning of March at the European Marine Energy Centre’s grid-connected wave test site.

This is the first of three wave energy converters due to be installed at European Marine Energy Centre over the next three years as part of the Clean Energy from Ocean Waves project, funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme.

“This is a tremendous milestone for Wello and all Clean Energy from Ocean Waves partners, but also for the wave energy sector as a whole,” said Neil Kermode, Managing Director of the European Marine Energy Centre. “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.”

Led by energy company Fortum, the generation of power is a major milestone within the Clean Energy from Ocean Waves 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.

“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,” said Mikko Muoniovaara, Senior Project Manager at Fortum. “This 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.”

The Clean Energy from Ocean Waves 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, Green Marine, Uppsala University, Plymouth University, the University of Exeter and the European Marine Energy Centre.