AW-Energy 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. 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 metres and takes advantage of the back-and-forth movement of the surge. 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 challenging 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.
John Liljelund, managing director, AW-Energy said: “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. It’s great that Metso joins us in entering this new challenging area and in developing a novel concept for renewable energy.”