AW-Energy, the Finnish wave energy developer, is launching its pilot project in Peniche (Portugal) in October this year. The goal of the project is to demonstrate its Wave Roller technology on a significant scale, including the manufacture and deployment of the first grid connected 300 kW WaveRoller unit. The deployment, which has a one year test period, is scheduled for the summer of 2011.
“The key difference between the demonstration unit and commercial scale unit is the nominal capacity. The demo focuses on validating our results from the prototype testing, CFD simulations and tank testing.” explains John Liljelund, the new CEO of AW-Energy. “After the demonstration project, around 2014, we will launch the pre-commercial project with a focus on generating electricity with our partner ensuring the technology meets the economic targets measured by, for instance, net present value or internal rate of return. The most interesting market areas for us include the western coast of Europe, the USA, Chile and Australia.”
The patented WaveRollers are the first devices in the world to utilize surge for energy generation. The potential of this technology has been demonstrated in tank testing at Helsinki University of Technology and the University of Porto/IST Lisbon as well as in marine tests with very small scale model units conducted at EMEC in Orkney, Scotland in 2005. The WaveRoller Proto 1 was launched in 2007 and the Wave Roller Proto 2 in 2008.
The original concept was conceived by Mr Rauno Koivusaari in 1993. The first devices were installed in 2000 and AW-Energy was founded in 2002.
The pilot project is a step towards the launch of a demo project and site development activities in key market areas in Europe, the USA, Chile and Australia,which will lead to the release of the next financing round of 10 million euros in Q1/2010. AW-Energy’s current investors include JN Uljas, Aura Capital, Sitra and Fortum, the Nordic utility company.