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Scotland brings first wave power plant to Spain

Scottish firm puts first commercial marine power plant into operation

The plant will use wave power to provide electricity for 250 homes
The plant will use wave power to provide electricity for 250 homes

Scotland’s marine energy firm Voith Hydro Wavegen has put the world’s first full life wave power plant into commercial operation. The plant has been sold to Ente Vasco de la Energía, the Basque Energy Board in the North of Spain.

It is the first grid-connected marine power plant for the country. The 300kW wave power plant uses technology developed and supplied by Voith Hydro Wavegen in a contract worth EUR 1.2m. It consists of 16 turbines, housed within a breakwater at the port of Mutriku. It has been designed for a 25 year operational life and will provide electricity for 250 homes. During commissioning and acceptance testing the plant has produced 100MWh.

It has been supplied with standard commercial guarantees for performance and availability. Matthew Seed, CEO of Voith Hydro Wavegen, said: “This is very exciting news, not just for our company, but for the whole marine energy sector. This major milestone is a demonstration of just how far the industry has developed in recent years. “We are delighted to have developed the first wave power plant to be sold on a commercial basis and we’re also delighted to have provided the technology for the first grid-connected wave power plant in Spain – a country with enormous potential for wave energy.”

Wavegen was the world's first company to develop a commercial-scale, grid-connected wave energy plant in 2000 when they installed the LIMPET on Islay, Scotland. This plant has now been successfully operating for eleven years as a demonstrator project. The company is also behind the UK’s only fully consented wave energy project at Siadar on the West coast of Lewis, Scotland.

The firm is in discussion with a number of companies to develop projects in other parts of the world. Seed said: “We believe our success in Spain clearly demonstrates our ability to deliver projects. We have unrivalled expertise and experience, and we will continue to harness those skills to move forward on our other projects.” Energy minister Fergus Ewing said: “Scotland is leading the development of wave and tidal energy, using our skills and expertise to help Scotland - and the world - develop marine power. This welcome announcement by Wavegen highlights the progress being made towards full commercialisation of wave and tidal technologies.”