N e w s
Press Release 25 November 2010
Limpet wave power plant celebrates 10 year anniversary of grid
It is unique in the industry: Voith Hydro Wavegen’s Limpet - the
world’s first commercial scale grid connected wave energy plant.
Commissioned in November 2000 on the Scottish island of Islay,
it has been supplying electricity to the grid ever since.
In 10 years, Limpet has built an unrivalled track record of
operation and reliability. Reliability is the first and most
important requirement in convincing clients that technology is
ready for commercial deployment. “Our availability levels now
match other, more established renewables, and even traditional
power plants”, says Matthew Seed, CEO of Voith Hydro Wavegen, on
the occasion of the Scottish Renewables Marine Conference,
taking place in Inverness on November 24 - 25. “The
availability has improved dramatically since the first years of
operation, and has been over 90% for the last four years, with
2010 figures running at 98%. The plant has accumulated over
60,000 grid connected generating hours, providing a wealth of
data to optimise plant performance, and giving clients enormous
confidence in long term reliability.”
While Limpet has stayed firmly anchored on the Islay coast, the
ocean energy market has developed, especially in recent years.
Governments in Scotland, Portugal and Spain, to name a few,
have put financial and policy support mechanisms in place to
encourage commercial deployment of ocean energy technologies.
This support is starting to pay dividends, and Voith Hydro
Wavegen now has specific projects, or development prospects, in
several countries across the globe.
Basque Energy Board (EVE) has already committed to Voith Hydro
Wavegen technology. Voith Hydro Wavegen has supplied the
complete power generation package with performance and
availability guarantees. EVE’s wave power project in Mutriku is
due to be commissioned early in 2011, and will be the first grid
connected wave energy plant in Spain.
The Siadar Wave Energy Project on the west coast of the Isle of
Lewis in Scotland will be another step up for Voith Hydro
Wavegen's technology. This 4MW project, developed in
collaboration with RWE npower renewables, is the largest
consented wave energy project worldwide, and is strongly
supported by the Scottish Government through the WATERS funding
scheme. During construction the project could provide
significant local employment, and benefit regional suppliers.
This supply chain will be used repeatedly as the Western Isles
provide some of the best wave energy resources in Europe, and
further projects have already been identified.
The key to Voith Hydro Wavegen’s unrivalled track record is a
highly reliable power generation system based on robustness and
simplicity. “With no moving parts in the water, and the
equipment readily accessible for maintenance, the plant now
consistently demonstrates the availability required for large
scale deployment. In addition, we continue to improve the
economics of the technology to make it more attractive for
larger scale applications as the market develops.” says Matthew
Limpet plant on the
Scottish island of Islay.
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