Portugal has officially launched the world’s first commercial wave power project on September 23. The Agucadoura Wave Park, developed by Scottish firm Pelamis, was supposed to launch in 2007 but was delayed by an underwater connection issue.
The first phase of the project cost about nine million Euros and generates power using three Pelamis Wave Energy Converters (PWEC) which are semi-submerged, articulated structures composed of cylindrical sections linked by hinged joints and are located approximately three miles off the coast. Video below shows how it works.
The second phase of the project will install a further 25 PWEC and bring the total capacity up to 21MW, which will be able to meet the average annual electricity demand for more than 15,000 Portuguese households while displacing more than 60,000 tonnes per year of carbon dioxide emissions from conventional power plants.
UK will be the next to embrace the wave power with the Orcadian Wave Farm in northern Scotland and the Westwave project in Cornwall, southwestern England.