Eco Wave Power signs concession for world's largest wave power station
Sweden's Eco Wave Power has been proving its relatively simple, jetty-mounted wave energy devices for at least 10 years now, and has now inked a conditional deal for a 77-megawatt installation in Turkey - the world's largest wave power plant.
We first encountered this company, originally founded in Israel, back in 2012 when its device was being tested in wave tanks. It's about as simple as wave energy gets: little floats rise and fall with the waves, driving hydraulic motors that run electrical generators. These aren't floating designs, they're mounted on land-based infrastructure like jetties and seawalls, so they can harness the full height delta of each wave relative to the ground, deployment and maintenence are a breeze and there's no mucking about with undersea cables to get the energy back to shore.
As a result, the company says its generators are relatively cheap, and capable of paying for themselves in somewhere around three years. They should have a service life around 30 years, says Eco Wave Power, and with a levelized cost of energy (LCoE) around US$44 per megawatt-hour, they produce energy around the clock at a cost that allows them to compete with solar and wind energy, depending on the location.
It installed its first grid-connected wave energy plant in Gibraltar in 2016, a 100-kW system that ran for six years before being dismantled earlier this year, with the guts of it being sent across to the United States to operate as a demonstrator of sorts. In March, the company said it was entering into negotiations with Gibraltar about a much larger 5-MW facility that would provide 15% of its power needs.
A second 100 kW grid-connected pilot project in Israel was announced in 2019, and remains under construction. The company has signed a number of concession agreements for megawatt-scale projects with governments across a number of countries, effectively gaining the rights to build and operate its own commercial wave power stations on public land subject to permitting, finance and the like. It now touts a "projects pipeline" of a whopping 404.7 MW.
The latest on the pile is a concession agreement with the Ordu Municipality of Turkey. Subject to a number of conditions, Ordu will select and assign nine breakwaters to Eco Wave Power for 25 years, and the company will be able to build and run its own wave energy plant. This will begin with a 4-MW pilot station, and eventually could expand to 77-MW, which would make it the world's largest wave power facility.
That is of course if it happens. It's not immediately clear where the money to build and install this 404.7 megawatts' worth of wave energy generators is coming from. Progress looks fairly slow to the untrained eye, and while the tech itself appears simple and promising, Eco Wave Power had better start getting some runs on the board commercially, to demonstrate that these things do what they say on the tin in a financial sense, and make good business as well as good clean power.
Source: Eco Wave Power