Seabased wave energy converters (WECs) and buoys awaiting installation. Source: Seabased

Barbados and Seabased join forces for wave power park 

The Barbados Investment and Development Corporation (BIDC) and Swedish wave energy company Seabased Group have inked a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to build a wave power park.

Seabased wave energy converters (WECs) and buoys awaiting installation. Source: Seabased

One of the main reasons for building this wave power park is to support Barbados’ green hydrogen research and development since Barbados aims to lead the Caribbean in the green hydrogen transition. 

The MoU, signed on June 7, 2024, describes the creation of a 2 MW pilot wave power park, with plans to expand to 10 MW or more, to support the BIDC’s green hydrogen facility.

“Barbados takes a very proactive approach to seeking out innovative solutions that will drive the energy transitions for islands like ours. We have to think not only about the land Barbadians inhabit, but the vast expanse of ocean surrounding Barbados, maximizing the potential to sustainably harness the blue resources within our Exclusive Economic Zone. In order to green our industrial operations nationally we need to think innovatively,” said Mark Hill, CEO of BIDC.

“The BIDC is prioritizing the provision of sustainable base-load electrical energy at a reduced cost to advance its industrial green hydrogen research and development via scientific innovation in wave technology. Water and adequate cheap renewable energy are key input elements necessary for the production of green hydrogen and its derivatives.“

Like other Caribbean islands, Barbados relies heavily on imported fossil fuels for energy. The island faces climate risks like rising sea levels, frequent storms, and hurricanes. Its economy is also vulnerable to geopolitical and logistical threats affecting fuel supply and energy production, according to Seabased.

Small Island Developing States (SIDS) can benefit from diversifying their energy sources. Barbados displayed a commitment to lead this shift away from fossil fuels towards ocean energy, said Seabased.

“Seabased and BIDC have identified an area where we believe we can harvest a considerable amount of reliable, renewable, clean ocean energy without hindering any of the other industries—including tourism— that are so important to Barbados. Islands like Barbados are unique harbors of beauty and biodiversity and we want to be part of helping them provide for their energy needs in a way that will help protect that very special ecosystem in their blue and green economies,” said Seabased CEO, Laurent Albert.

Danish company Wavepiston is also exploring the deployment of wave energy farms offshore Barbados together with BIDC, because of Barbados’ large need for renewables. 

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In March 2023, Seabased signed a MoU for the development of a 10 MW wave energy power plant offshore the Polynesian country and archipelagic state of Tonga. The plant is expected to provide half of Tonga’s energy needs and cut emissions by 20%.

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