Finnish wave energy developer, AW-Energy, has received a €10 million loan for the construction of the full-scale WaveRoller wave energy device.
The loan, provided by the European Investment Bank (EIB) and backed by the EU’s research and innovation funding programme Horizon 2020, is the first under the InnovFin Energy Demo Project (EDP), an innovative, sectoral debt facility which aims to support projects that are commercially promising, but are deemed technologically risky.
The deal will enable the Finnish company AW-Energy to build a full-scale demonstration unit of their WaveRoller concept.
The project, with the total cost estimated at €19 million, will see the deployment of 350 kW WaveRoller unit in Portugal later this year, European Commission informed.
EU Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, Carlos Moedas, said: “An investment in renewable energy technologies is an investment in Europe’s leadership of these new industries. We want to support renewable energy pioneers to contribute solutions to global climate change challenges, while generating employment and sustainable economic growth at home in Europe.”
AW-Energy’s CEO, John Liljelund, said: “This is a significant milestone not only for WaveRoller and the wave energy sector, but for the ocean energy industry as whole, which is currently at the brink of a commercial breakthrough. As a constant and far more predictable form of renewable energy than wind and solar, wave energy will be a highly valuable addition to the global renewable energy mix. Bankable technology is the cornerstone when building a new industry. Having prestigious institutions like the EIB on board adds plenty of credibility to the equation.”
Commissioner Moedas, EIB Vice President Jan Vapaavuori and John Liljelund will sign the loan agreement this afternoon in Brussels.
AW-Energy has developed WaveRoller wave energy device that works when the back and forth movement of water driven by wave surge puts the panel into motion, which triggers the hydraulic piston, attached to the panel, to pump the hydraulic fluids inside a closed hydraulic circuit.
The high-pressure fluids are fed into a hydraulic motor that drives an electricity generator, producing electricity, which is then fed to the grid via subsea cable.
The company has been operating three 100 kW prototype units connected to the grid near Peniche in Portugal since 2012.