Wello’s Penguin device has fed the electricity harnessed from the Orkney’s waves into the UK national grid.
The 1MW Penguin wave energy converter 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 wave energy converters 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 program.
Mikko Muoniovaara, Senior Project manager at Fortum, said: “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.”
Wello’s Penguin device uses its asymmetric shape to convert the waves to electricity with continuous rotational movement.
In a floating element, motion energy is directly captured by a generator, resulting in conversion from movement to electricity without hydraulics, joints or gears.
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.”
Led by Fortum, the CEFOW project aims to ready the Penguin technology for commercialization 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.
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.