The ‘world’s largest capacity’ floating wave energy device will be tested in Scotland over the next four years

Thanks to a $19.2 million collaboration co-funded by the European Union.
Chris Young
Ocean Energy's OE35 under construction.
Ocean Energy's OE35 under construction.

Source: Ocean Energy / YouTube 

Irish firm Ocean Energy has signed up to a collaboration project with 14 industry and university partners in the UK, Ireland, France, Germany, and Spain. The project will test its OE35 floating wave energy device at scale over the next four years.

Ocean Energy develops wave energy technology to harness the power of the ocean for renewable energy in a bid to improve the security of energy supplies and also to help ease the energy transition.

The new €19.6 million ($19.2 million) project, called WEDUSEA, is co-funded by the EU Horizon Europe Programme and Innovate UK, and it aims to enable viable mass market wave energy technology, as per a press release.

"The world's largest capacity floating wave energy device"

Ocean Energy says its OE35 is the world's largest capacity floating wave energy device. The machine floats on the ocean's surface and utilizes a trapped pocket of air to generate electricity.

The lower part of the OE35 is open to the waves. When waves pass through that submerged opening, they oscillate and drive the trapped air though a turbine. The energy generated can then be exported from the OE35 to the grid.

“The innovative actions taken in this program aim to improve the efficiency, reliability, scalability, and sustainability of wave energy technology and reduce the Levelised Cost of Electricity of the technology by over 30%," said Myles Heward, Project Manager at the European Marine Energy Center, adding that "this will help to de-risk investments in wave energy."

Wave energy needed to improve energy security

As per the WEDUSEA project agreement, Ocean Energy will demonstrate a grid-connected 1MW OE35 floating wave energy converter at the European Marine Energy Centre Test Site in Orkney, Scotland. The project will carry out three separate test phases over the next four years.

"We are expecting WEDUSEAm to take away energy beyond state of the art by the collaboration of partners with a multi-disciplinary background and that it will contribute to the deployment of arrays of reliable wave energy devices to achieve the 1GW target for 2030 as presented in our Offshore Renewable Energy Strategy," explained Matthijs Soede from the European Commission.

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"The current energy crisis shows that the use of multiple energy sources is important to improve the security of supply, and a breakthrough in ocean energy would be welcome," he continued.

The first phase will be the initial design phase for a device specially suited to the European Marine Energy test site’s ocean conditions. For the second phase, which will last roughly two years, the teams will focus on the installation and demonstration process. If all goes to plan, the final phase will then focus on the commercialization and dissemination of the technology.

Several other companies, including Cyprus-based startup Sea Wave Energy Ltd and U.S.-based CalWave, are also working hard in a bid to advance wave technology. CalWave, for example, said its xWave device was operational for 10 months with practically no maintenance during a recent test.

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