Wave consortium bids to power island off Massachusetts

A newly formed multidisciplinary consortium is looking to harness the energy of the waves to provide additional power supply for the Cuttyhunk Island in Massachusetts.

Bilbao-based wave energy company Arrecife Energy Systems, Marine Renewable Energy Collaborative of New England (MRECo), and steel company Mass Tank, have joined forces in a bid for a $250,000 grant to address the energy needs of the Cuttyhunk Island.

Namely, the consortium is proposing to use Arrecife Energy Systems’ wave energy technology to balance the energy supply of the island by exploiting the power of the waves to charge solar installation batteries at times of low solar energy supply or during the night.

The device could also act as an additional power supply to that of solar installations for an island with the population of less than 100 people, according to Arrecife Energy’s Chief Operating Officer, Oscar Villanueva Cañizares.

The consortium has in November 2017 applied for the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center’s InnovateMass Grant Program which provides up to $250,000 in grant funding and technical support to applicant teams deploying new clean energy technologies or innovative combinations of existing technologies with a strong potential for commercialization.

Villanueva Cañizares said the team is now waiting for the grant award decision, expected to be made in January 2018.

MRECo would act as an advisor for the project, while Mass Tank would be entrusted the responsibility of building Arrecife Energy’s wave energy device, Villanueva Cañizares added.

The company has developed a device that simulates the natural behavior of coral reefs and their efficiency in absorbing wave energy. The scaled version of the device was recently tested in real-sea environment off Spain.

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