Portugal Launches First Commercial Scale Wave Energy Farm

December 26, 2008 - 11:25:46 PM

Pelamis Wave Power Ltd.  (PWP) is the manufacturer of The Pelamis Wave Energy Converter, a unique system that generates renewable electricity from ocean waves.
It is the result of many years of engineering development by PWP and according to PWP is the world’s first commercial scale machine to generate electricity into the grid from offshore wave energy. And "Aguçadoura" is the first wave farm to reach commercial scale. The project is located  5km off the Atlantic coastline of northern Portugal (substation at Aguçadoura) and was developed for Enersis / Babcock & Brown.

The fully operational wave farm consists of three P1-A Pelamis machines with a generating capacity of 2.25 MW (3 x 750kW) which according to Alternative Energy News will produce enough energy to power 1500 homes at peak hours.

Each wave converter is 142m long, weighs 700 tons and consists of four articulated sections. When the waves move up and down these four sections move too. At the hinges between sections, hydraulic rams utilize the wave motion to drive generators, producing power. This energy is transported by underwater electrical cable to the Agucadoura substation and fed into the Portuguese national grid.

Enersis have issued a letter of intent to PWP for a further 20 MW of Pelamis equipment to expand the initial Aguçadoura project to a larger scheme. Development work for the second phase project is already under way. The Aguçadoura wave energy project in Portugal is supported by a specific feed-in tariff currently equivalent to approximately €0.23/kWh.

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