N e w s
Press Release 18 November 2011
Inverness based wave energy company
puts world’s first commercial plant into operation.
Inverness, Scotland: Voith Hydro Wavegen, the Inverness-based
marine energy company, has cause to celebrate after successfully
handing over the world’s first full life wave power plant into
An emerging industry, marine energy has a number of prototypes
and small scale devices being tested in various locations across
the world. But now the industry is moving to the next level
with the completion of the first grid-connected marine power
plant in Spain.
Wavegen was the first company in the world to develop a
commercial-scale, grid-connected wave energy plant in 2000 when
they installed the LIMPET on Islay. This plant has now been
successfully operating for eleven years as a demonstrator
Now they’ve achieved another first by selling the first
commercial wave power plant to Ente Vasco de la Energía, the
Basque Energy Board in the North of Spain.
Matthew Seed, CEO of Voith Hydro Wavegen, welcomed the
announcement, saying: “This is very exciting news, not just for
our company, but for the whole marine energy sector. This major
milestone is a demonstration of just how far the industry has
developed in recent years.”
“We are delighted to have developed the first wave power plant
to be sold on a commercial basis and we’re also delighted to
have provided the technology for the first grid-connected wave
power plant in Spain – a country with enormous potential for
The 300kW wave power plant, consisting of 16 turbines, is housed
within a breakwater at the port of Mutriku. It has been
designed for a 25 year operational life and will provide
electricity for 250 homes.
During commissioning and acceptance testing the plant has
produced 100MWh and has now been formally handed over to the
client. It has been supplied with standard commercial guarantees
for performance and availability.
The power plant used technology developed and supplied by Voith
Hydro Wavegen in a contract worth 1.2 million euros (1 million
Energy Minister Fergus Ewing said: “Scotland is leading the
development of wave and tidal energy, using our skills and
expertise to help Scotland - and the world - develop marine
power. This welcome announcement by Inverness-based Wavegen
highlights the progress being made towards full
commercialisation of wave and tidal technologies.”
The company is also behind the UK’s only fully consented wave
energy project at Siadar on the West coast of Lewis. As Matthew
Seed explained: “We believe our success in Spain clearly
demonstrates our ability to deliver projects. We have
unrivalled expertise and experience, and we will continue to
harness those skills to move forward on our other projects.”
The company is in discussion with a number of companies to
develop projects in other parts of the world.
Photographs of the Mutriku plant, courtesy of Voith Hydro
Wavegen are below.
About Voith Hydro Wavegen
Voith Hydro Wavegen Ltd is based in Inverness where it also
operates state-of-the-art wave power research and development
Hydro Wavegen’s Limpet plant on Islay was the first commercial
scale grid connected wave energy plant and has been in
continuous operation for ten years. It has accumulated over
60,000 grid connected generating hours, providing a wealth of
data to optimise plant performance.
The planned Siadar Wave Energy Project on the west coast of the
Lewis is the largest consented wave energy project worldwide.
About Voith Hydro
Hydro power is the biggest and oldest, and at the same time most
reliable source of renewable energy generation. All over the
world, hydro power makes an essential contribution to economic
and social development in industrialized countries as well as
fast-growing regions. Moreover, it contributes significantly to
climate friendly energy generation. Since the beginnings of
hydro power generation, Voith is a leading provider of hydro
power technology and pushes its further advancement.
Voith Hydro is a Group Division of Voith and - with a workforce
of currently almost 5,200 employees and a sales volume of almost
1.2 billion Euros in the business year 2009/2010 – belongs to
the world-wide leading companies for hydro power equipment.
Voith sets standards in the markets energy, oil & gas, paper,
raw materials and transportation & automotive. Founded in 1867,
Voith employs almost 40,000 people, generates €5.2 billion in
sales, operates in about 50 countries around the world and is
today one of the biggest family-owned companies in Europe.
Voith Hydro Wavegen Limited
Tel. +44 (0) 1463 238094
Fax +44 (0) 1463 238096
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