Fortum has signed a leasing agreement with the UK-based Wave Hub in order to test wave power solutions off the coast of Cornwall. The agreement provides Fortum with a new opportunity to rapidly deploy advanced, full-scale wave power converters in ocean conditions.
Fortum believes that a transition to a Solar Economy, where energy production is based solely on renewable energy sources, is inevitable, although gradual. As an inexhaustible and emissions-free energy form, wave power can play an important role in the future, and that is why it is also a key focus area in Fortum's research and development work.
The Wave Hub facility offers Fortum a unique opportunity to test wave power converters in favourable ocean conditions. The site is consented, constructed and grid connected, which significantly reduces the time it takes to get devices into the water. The berth that Wave Hub will provide is capable of handling up to 10 megawatts (MW) installed generation.
“This is as much ‘plug and play’ as it gets when it comes to wave power generation development. The site already has everything we need to start testing,” says Fortum's Chief Technology Officer Heli Antila, PhD. “From the very beginning, Wave Hub has been very supportive of our project development, which is important as this is a testing environment,” Antila continues.
“One wave power solution that we are currently evaluating to be deployed at the site is the ‘Penguin’, developed by Finnish wave power company Wello,” says Heli Antila. “This technique comprises vessels that float on the water and capture kinetic energy, which is then turned into electrical power, with minimal anchoring attached to the bottom,” she concludes.