Wave farm

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Pelamis machine at the Agucadoura Wave Farm Pelamis machine installed at the Agucadoura Wave Park.JPG
Pelamis machine at the Aguçadoura Wave Farm

A wave farm – or wave power farm or wave energy park – is a collection of machines in the same location and used for the generation of wave power electricity. Wave farms can be either offshore or nearshore, with the former the most promising for the production of large quantities of electricity for the grid. The first wave farm was constructed in Portugal, the Aguçadoura Wave Farm, consisting of three Pelamis machines. The world's largest is planned for Scotland.

A generation is "all of the people born and living at about the same time, regarded collectively". It can also be described as, "the average period, generally considered to be about thirty years, during which children are born and grow up, become adults, and begin to have children of their own". In kinship terminology, it is a structural term designating the parent-child relationship. It is also known as biogenesis, reproduction, or procreation in the biological sciences.

Wave power Transport of energy by wind waves, and the capture of that energy to do useful work

Wave power is the capture of energy of wind waves to do useful work – for example, electricity generation, water desalination, or pumping water. A machine that exploits wave power is a wave energy converter (WEC).

Electricity Physical phenomena associated with the presence and flow of electric charge

Electricity is the set of physical phenomena associated with the presence and motion of matter that has a property of electric charge. In early days, electricity was considered as being not related to magnetism. Later on, many experimental results and the development of Maxwell's equations indicated that both electricity and magnetism are from a single phenomenon: electromagnetism. Various common phenomena are related to electricity, including lightning, static electricity, electric heating, electric discharges and many others.


United Kingdom


Funding for a wave farm in Scotland was announced on February 20, 2007 by the Scottish Executive, at a cost of over £4 million, as part of a £13 million funding packages for marine power in Scotland. The farm will be the world's largest with a capacity of 3MW generated by four Pelamis machines. [1] See also: Renewable energy in Scotland.

Scotland Country in Europe, part of the United Kingdom

Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. Sharing a border with England to the southeast, Scotland is otherwise surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, the North Sea to the northeast, the Irish Sea to the south, and the North Channel to the southwest. In addition to the mainland, situated on the northern third of the island of Great Britain, Scotland has over 790 islands, including the Northern Isles and the Hebrides.

Pound sterling Official currency of the United Kingdom and other territories

The pound sterling, commonly known as the pound and less commonly referred to as sterling, is the official currency of the United Kingdom, Jersey, Guernsey, the Isle of Man, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, the British Antarctic Territory, and Tristan da Cunha. It is subdivided into 100 pence. A number of nations that do not use sterling also have currencies called the pound.

Renewable energy in Scotland

The production of renewable energy in Scotland is an issue that has come to the fore in technical, economic, and political terms during the opening years of the 21st century. The natural resource base for renewable energy is extraordinary by European, and even global standards, with the most important potential sources being wind, wave, and tide.

Ocean Power Technologies (OPT), based in Pennington, New Jersey is involved in the development of a wave farm off Cromarty Firth . The PB150 PowerBuoy was successfully deployed at sea in 2011 by a team including Scotland-based Global Maritime Scotland Ltd, Port Services (Invergordon) Ltd and OPT, with the support of the Cromarty Firth Port Authority.

Ocean Power Technologies (O.P.T.) is a US-owned renewable energy company, providing power generation devices, services and related equipment for the extraction of energy from ocean waves. The company's PowerBuoy technology is scalable to hundreds of megawatts and the generated energy from Wave Power is supplied to the grid via submarine cables. Projects are now underway around the world.

Pennington, New Jersey Borough in New Jersey

Pennington is a borough in Mercer County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the borough's population was 2,585, reflecting a decline of 111 (-4.1%) from the 2,696 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 159 (+6.3%) from the 2,537 counted in the 1990 Census.

Cromarty Firth An arm of the Moray Firth in Scotland.

The Cromarty Firth is an arm of the Moray Firth in Scotland.

The £10 million Saltire prize challenge will be awarded to the first to be able to generate 100 GWh from wave power over a continuous two-year period by 2017 (about 5.7 MW average). [2]


Funding for a wave farm known as Wave hub off the north coast of Cornwall, England was approved in June 2007. The Wave hub operates as an extension cable allowing developers to install and operate wave energy generating devices while keeping down connection costs. Four device operators have expressed an interest in using the site which will initially allow up to 20MW of wave energy capacity.

Cornwall County of England

Cornwall is a county in South West England, bordered to the north and west by the Celtic Sea, to the south by the English Channel, and to the east by Devon, the River Tamar forming the border between them. Cornwall is the westernmost part of the South West Peninsula of the island of Great Britain. The southwesternmost point is Land's End and the southernmost Lizard Point. Cornwall has a population of 563,600 and an area of 3,563 km2 (1,376 sq mi). It is administered by Cornwall Council, apart from the Isles of Scilly, which are administered separately. The county town is Truro, Cornwall's only city.

England Country in north-west Europe, part of the United Kingdom

England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to the west and Scotland to the north. The Irish Sea lies west of England and the Celtic Sea to the southwest. England is separated from continental Europe by the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south. The country covers five-eighths of the island of Great Britain, which lies in the North Atlantic, and includes over 100 smaller islands, such as the Isles of Scilly and the Isle of Wight.

Ocean Power Technologies (OPT), based in Pennington, New Jersey is involved in Wave Hub. Located in Cornwall, England, OPT aims to develop its PowerBuoy technology, an innovative renewable energy project, and expects to create the UK's first offshore facility for the demonstration and proving of arrays of wave energy generation devices.

The Wave Hub is a wave power research project. The project is developed approximately 10 miles (16 km) off Hayle, on the north coast of Cornwall, United Kingdom. The hub was installed on the seabed in September 2010, and is a 'socket' sitting on the seabed for wave energy converters to be plugged into. It will have connections to it from arrays of up to four kinds of wave energy converter. A cable from the hub to main land will take electrical power from the devices to the electric grid. The total capacity of the hub will be 20 MWe. The estimated cost of the project is £28 million.

PowerBuoy is a power station for generating electrical energy from wave power. It is a point absorber or buoy, currently in-use or in-planning at 9 locations around the world, but primarily within Australia and the United States.

A 2017 study estimates that commercial wave farms are not close to being feasible. [3] [4]

United States

Wave power in the United States is under development in several locations off the east & west coasts as well as Hawaii. It has moved beyond the research phase and major installations are planned to come on-line within the next few years. Its use to-date has been for situations where other forms of energy production are not economically viable and as such, the power output is currently modest.

According to the president of trade association Ocean Renewable Energy Coalition, “The total potential off the coast of the United States is 252 million megawatt hours a year.” [5] Despite the absence of current implementation of major projects, there has been significant investment on the part of public utility companies and federal funds for the implementation and economic viability of two new wave power energy centers as of September 30, 2008.

On December 18, 2007 the Pacific Gas & Electric Company, the largest national utility company, announced a commercial agreement to purchase power generated by wave energy. This decision was made in part to be competitive in the public electrical energy market in the state of California under stringent renewable energy restrictions. Currently, California state law requires that publicly owned utilities are required to generate 20% of their electricity from renewable energy sources such as wind, solar and wave power by 2010. After the General Election on November 4, 2008 this law may be subject to change to an even more stringent law, which states that publicly owned utilities would be required to increase their proportion of electricity from renewable resources to 20% by 2010, 40% by 2020 and 50% by 2025. [6]

Federally, under the Marine Renewable Energy Research and Development Act of 2007 the United States has committed $200 million in federal funds toward wave energy technology to be allocated from 2008 through 2012. The United States Department of Energy (DOE) is currently responsible for the allocation of $50 million per fiscal year for research, development, demonstration and commercial application of ocean energy. [7] In 2008, the first year of federal allocation toward wave energy, there are a total of fourteen recipients. The most notable recipients of this year include Oregon State University and the University of Hawaii. Oregon State University in partnership with the University of Washington, will implement the development of the Northwest National Marine Renewable Energy Center for wave and tidal energy. The second recipient, University of Hawaii will develop and implement the National Renewable Marine Energy Center in Hawaii. [8]

The Grays Harbor Ocean Energy Company of Seattle has applied to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for permits to harness energy from waves off the coastline of California, Hawaii, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York and Rhode Island. The $28 billion project would be the largest renewable energy project in the nation. [9]

In 2012, Ocean Power Technologies (O.P.T.), based in Pennington, New Jersey is involved in the following wave projects in the US:


The Mutriku Breakwater Wave Plant is the world´s first breakwater wave plant with a multiple turbine arrangement. It is located in the Mutriku´s dike and has been producing electrical energy since July 2011. The plant has a capacity of 296 kW from 16 turbines and 16 OWCs. [12] During the winter 2015, the plant supplied its first GWh to the grid. This up-and-running power plant is available as a test site where different researchers can test their WOC based generators.


The Aguçadoura Wave Farm was the world's first commercial-scale wave farm. [13] It was located 5 km (3 mi) offshore near Póvoa de Varzim north of Oporto in Portugal. The farm used three Pelamis wave energy converters to convert the motion of the ocean surface waves into electricity, totalling to 2.25MW in total installed capacity. The farm first generated electricity into the Portuguese grid in July 2008 [14] and was officially opened on September 23, 2008, by the Portuguese Minister of Economy. [15] [16] The wave farm was shut down two months after the official opening in November 2008 due to technical problems with the machines. [17] [18]


The company 40South Energy has its offshore test site in Castiglioncello, Italy, and plans to upgrade the site to a commercial Wave Energy Park by connecting it with an electrical cable to shore. In the meantime, the owners of an offshore aquaculture installation in Lavagna, Italy, are in the process of converting their concession from fish farming to fish farming plus electricity production. The technology used in this Wave Energy Park will come from 40South Energy.


In 2013, Ocean RusEnergy company, based in Yekaterinburg, demonstrated a line of wave energy generators, ranging from 160W to 1MW(planned). Their modular design allows to assemble a wave power farm having a desired capacity. Unlike other wave power projects it targets small-scale and private electricity generation. [19]

See also

Related Research Articles

The Pelamis Wave Energy Converter was a technology that used the motion of ocean surface waves to create electricity. The machine was made up of connected sections which flex and bend as waves pass; it is this motion which is used to generate electricity.

Renewable energy in Portugal was the source for 25.7% of energy consumption in 2013. In 2014, 63% of Portugal's electricity needs were supplied by renewable sources. In 2016, 58% of power produced in Portugal came from renewable sources, an increase against the previous year (50.4%), while renewable energy consumption represented 27.2% of total consumption.

Renewable energy in the United Kingdom

Renewable energy in the United Kingdom can be divided into production for electricity, heat, and transport.

Aguçadoura Wave Farm

The Aguçadoura Wave Farm was a wave farm located 5 km (3 mi) offshore near Póvoa de Varzim north of Porto in Portugal. The farm was designed to use three Pelamis Wave Energy Converters to convert the motion of the ocean surface waves into electricity, totalling to 2.25 MW in total installed capacity. The farm was officially opened on 23 September 2008, by the Portuguese Minister of Economy. The wave farm was shut down two months after the official opening in November 2008.


CETO is a wave-energy technology that converts kinetic energy from ocean swell into electrical power and directly desalinates freshwater through reverse osmosis. The technology was developed and tested onshore and offshore in Fremantle, Western Australia. In early 2015 a CETO 5 production installation was commissioned and connected to the grid. As of January 2016 all the electricity generated is being purchased to contribute towards the power requirements of HMAS Stirling naval base at Garden Island, Western Australia. Some of the energy will also be used directly to desalinate water.

The European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) Ltd is a UKAS accredited test and research centre focusing on wave and tidal power development based in the Orkney Islands, UK. The Centre provides developers with the opportunity to test full-scale grid-connected prototype devices in unrivalled wave and tidal conditions. The operations are spread over five sites:

Floating wind turbine offshore wind turbine mounted on a floating structure

A floating wind turbine is an offshore wind turbine mounted on a floating structure that allows the turbine to generate electricity in water depths where fixed-foundation turbines are not feasible. Floating wind farms have the potential to significantly increase the sea area available for offshore wind farms, especially in countries with limited shallow waters, such as Japan. Locating wind farms farther offshore can also reduce visual pollution, provide better accommodation for fishing and shipping lanes, and reach stronger and more consistent winds.

Pelamis Wave Power designed and manufactured the Pelamis Wave Energy Converter – a technology that uses the motion of ocean surface waves to create electricity. The company was established in 1998 and had offices and fabrication facilities in Leith Docks, Edinburgh, Scotland. It went into administration in November 2014.

Marine energy or marine power refers to the energy carried by ocean waves, tides, salinity, and ocean temperature differences. The movement of water in the world’s oceans creates a vast store of kinetic energy, or energy in motion. Some of this energy can be harnessed to generate electricity to power homes, transport and industries.

Wind power in Massachusetts

The U.S. state of Massachusetts has vast wind energy resources onshore as well as offshore and the installed capacity has been growing in recent years due to a variety of regulatory actions and financial incentives enacted by the state government. The most recent notable policy includes the 2016 update to the Clean Energy and Climate Plan that the state reduce 1990 baseline greenhouse gas emissions levels by 25% by 2020, and a goal of installing 2,000 MW of wind power in the state by 2020. However in 2016 the state had 119 megawatts (MW) of wind powered electricity generating capacity, responsible for generating 0.7% of in-state electricity production.

Wind power in New Jersey

Wind power in New Jersey is in the early stages of development. There are various projects underway to create windfarms along coastal areas in the state on land, on piers, and on the continental shelf of the Atlantic Ocean off the southern Jersey Shore. Legislation has been enacted to support the industry through economic incentives and to permit wind turbines on existing piers. Several proposals have been made to expand the use of wind-generated power which may lead to the nation's first offshore wind power pilot project. In October 2010, North American Offshore Wind Conference was held in Atlantic City, site of the US's first on-shore coastal facility. New Jersey is part of the Atlantic Offshore Wind Energy Consortium. As of 2013, 9MW were produced by wind power.

The Aegir wave farm was a planned wave farm off the south west of Shetland. The project was developed by Aegir Wave Power, a 2009 formed joint venture of Vattenfall and the wave power technology developer Pelamis Wave Power. The wave farm would have had capacity from 10 MW potentially up to 100 MW. Following the collapse of Pelamis in November 2014, the project was cancelled by Vattenfall in February 2015.

Richard Yemm is the British inventor of the Pelamis Wave Energy Converter and was director of the former Pelamis Wave Power, a company he founded in Edinburgh in 1998. In 2014 he co-founded a new company, Quoceant, who are engineering consultants specializing in marine energy and technology innovation.

Energy in Hawaii

Energy in Hawaii is complicated by the state's isolated location and lack of fossil fuel resources. The state relies heavily on imports of petroleum and coal for power although renewable energy is increasing. Hawaii is the state with the highest share of petroleum use in the United States, with about 62% of electricity coming from oil in 2017. As of 2016, 26.6% of electricity was from renewable sources, including solar, wind, hydro and geothermal.

Wave power in the United States

Wave power in the United States is under development in several locations off the east and west coasts as well as Hawaii. It has moved beyond the research phase and is producing reliable energy for the Grid. Its use to-date has been for situations where other forms of energy production are not economically viable and as such, the power output is currently modest. But major installations are planned to come on-line within the next few years.

Wind power in Hawaii

Wind power in Hawaii has the potential to provide all of the electricity generation in the electricity sector in Hawaii. The 114 commercial wind turbines in the state have a total capacity of 206 MW. In 2015, wind turbines produced 6.4% of Hawaii's electricity. In 2017, sources of renewable power were: In 2012, Hawaii generated 367 million kWh from wind power.


  1. "Orkney to get 'biggest' wave farm". BBC News . February 20, 2007.
  2. Orkney, leader in green energy, launches wave power competition
  3. "UK Wave Energy Startups, Clamoring for Government Money, Have Failed to Deliver". 2017-11-20.
  4. "ShareFile".
  5. Wave Farms Show Energy Potential By Jason Margolis http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/6410839.stm
  6. Proposition 7 Renewable Energy Generation State of California http://www.smartvoter.org/2008/11/04/ca/state/prop/7/
  7. Wave Energy Bill Approved by U.S. House Science Committee http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/articles/2007/06/wave-energy-bill-approved-by-u-s-house-science-committee-48984.html June 18, 2007
  8. DOE announces first marine renewable energy grants http://uaelp.pennnet.com/Articles/Article_Display.cfm?Section=ONART&PUBLICATION_ID=22&ARTICLE_ID=341078&C=ENVIR&dcmp=rss September 30, 2008
  9. "$28 billion in wave energy projects proposed". The Associated Press. Dec 8, 2008. Retrieved 2008-12-31.
  10. US catching up with Europe - Forbes October 3, 2012
  11. Reedsport project delayed due to early onset of winter weather - OregonLive Oct 2012
  12. http://www.eve.eus/EVE/media/EVE/pdf/Mutriku-2016.pdf
  13. Jha, Alok (September 25, 2008). "25 Sept 2008". The Guardian . London.
  14. "Blog".
  15. "23 de Setembro de 2008". Government of Portugal . Retrieved 2008-09-24.
  16. Jha, Alok (2008-09-25). "Making waves: UK firm harnesses power of the sea ... in Portugal". London: The Guardian . Retrieved 2008-10-09.
  17. "Pelamis Sinks Portugal Wave Power". cleantech.com. Archived from the original on 2009-03-21. Retrieved 2009.Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  18. "Pelamis Wave Power Jettisons Its CEO, Rough Waters Ahead?". greentechmedia.com. Archived from the original on 2009-10-03. Retrieved 2009.Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  19. Russian Company Develops Mobile Wave Energy Generator offshorewind.biz