Metso to automate world’s first ocean-surge based demo power plant

Source: Metso

Metso will develop and supply an automation system to AW-Energy Ltd.'s demo power plant, the first one in the world to generate electricity from the surge, a form of ocean energy. The Finland-based company will expand its present pilot equipment to a 300 kW demonstration power plant in Peniche, Portugal, during 2011. The renewable energy harnessed from the Atlantic Ocean will be transferred through a sea cable to the national grid.

Wave energy is the biggest untapped energy source in the renewables sector. AW-Energy has now developed and patented the WaveRoller™ technology to harness this energy. The equipment is anchored on the sea bottom at a depth of 10-20 meters and takes advantage of the back-and-forth movement of the surge. Other solutions available on the market generate energy from the surface movements of the ocean. Sustainability of the new technology is proven by the fact that the demo plant was granted its construction permit in Portugal's Natura 2000, an area classified as a Special Protected Area (SPA) in Europe.

Metso will supply a Metso DNA automation system to this unmanned power plant to control its operation around the clock. The task is a challenging one because the process stations are located underwater. The delivery also includes an information system to analyze the prevailing wave conditions. Both systems are the first of their kind in the world.

"A wave energy plant has to operate at the highest possible reliability, since it is difficult to access for maintenance. We chose not to accept any basic industrial automation solution, but rather wanted a reliable, redundant process automation system," says AW-Energy's Managing Director John Liljelund. "It's great that Metso joins us in entering this new challenging area and in developing a novel concept for renewable energy."

Founded in 2002 and headquartered in Vantaa, Finland, AW-Energia Ltd. designs, manufactures and develops advanced wave energy technology. Its shareholders include Fortum, among others.

Metso is a global supplier of sustainable technology and services for mining, construction, power generation, automation, recycling and the pulp and paper industries. We have about 27,000 employees in more than 50 countries.

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