MUTRIKU, Spain 11/22/11 (PennWell) -- Voith Hydro Wavegen has turned over the Mutriku wave power plant to Ente Vasco de la Energia, the Scottish marine energy company announces.
The 16-turbine facility is housed within the breakwater at the Spanish port of Mutriku, where it will provide a capacity of 300 kW for the Basque Energy Board in the North of Spain. The plant employs Voith Hydro’s OWC (oscillating water column) technology. The wave power plant was designed with a 25-year operational life and will provide electricity for 250 homes.
“This is very exciting news, not just for our company, but for the whole marine energy sector,” says Matthew Seed, chief executive officer of developer Voith Hydro Wavegen. “This major milestone is a demonstration of just how far the industry has developed in recent years.”
The Mutriku facility is only the latest in a string of advances made by Wavegen over the past decade, beginning with the LIMPET (Land Installed Marine Powered Energy Transformer)  demonstration project, on Islay in Argyll, that will soon celebrate its 11th anniversary.
Perhaps sensing a boom in ocean power development, Voith Hydro teamed up with German-based RWE Innogy in 2009 to form Voith Hydro Ocean Current Technologies.
The partners had agreed to construct a 4 MW wave energy project off the coast of Scotland’s Isle of Lewis, but RWE withdrew from the project in August 2011.
Seed says the experience Wavegen gained from completing the Mutriku project will be invaluable as the company continues to improve its wave power technologies.