Photo: Eco Wave Power's wave energy array in Gibraltar (Courtesy of Eco Wave Power)

Eco Wave Power to relocate wave energy plant from Gibraltar to Los Angeles

Eco Wave Power has outlined plans to relocate its wave energy power plant from Gibraltar to AltaSea’s premises in the Port of Los Angeles.

Eco Wave Power's wave energy array in Gibraltar (Courtesy of Eco Wave Power)
Eco Wave Power’s wave energy array in Gibraltar (Courtesy of Eco Wave Power)

A range of factors led to the decision to move the energy conservation unit, the primary reason being Eco Wave Power’s increasing interest in the U.S. market, emphasized by the its recent listing on Nasdaq Capital Market, the company said.

Additional considerations include the condition of the Ammunition Jetty – the location of the wave energy array, and that Eco Wave Power has accumulated almost six years of operational experience with over 49,632 grid connection hours, in its Gibraltar pilot site.

Therefore, the company said it is ready to continue with plans to expand to larger scales and new regions with its pioneering technology, which is also in accordance with the agreement entered with AltaSea from January, 2022.

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Inna Braverman, founder and CEO of Eco Wave Power, said: “We are very grateful to the Government of Gibraltar, the Ministry for the Environment, Gibraltar Electricity Authority and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) for providing us with the opportunity for our first ever grid connected pilot.

“This has led to new and important developments in our technology, which were added to the company’s patents portfolio and will be implemented in future projects. It also assisted us with securing new projects which were added to the company’s projects pipeline, including our upcoming project in Gibraltar’s neighboring country – Portugal.

At the same time, we are very excited about the planned pilot on AltaSea’s premises in the Port of LA, as the U.S. is a high priority market for Eco Wave Power.”

The floater mechanisms of the power station will be sent to steel recycling, while the conversion unit will be fully overhauled and refurbished to meet the U.S. electrical standards and shipped to Los Angeles in the near future, the company said.

Additionally, Eco Wave Power intends to develop and supply new and upgraded floaters for its planned pilot in AltaSea’s premises, to optimally meet the local marine conditions.

Terry Tamminen, CEO of AltaSea, said: “We believe that Eco Wave Power aligns well with the AltaSea vision, creating a new way of generating renewable energy, that will help California meet its ambitious goals to address the climate crisis. We are looking forward to a welcoming this innovative pilot.”

Gibraltar wave power pilot milestones

The newly constructed wave energy power station was officially open in May 2016 (Courtesy of Eco Wave Power)
The newly constructed wave energy power station was officially open in May 2016 (Courtesy of Eco Wave Power)

According to the agreement between Eco Wave Power and the Government of Gibraltar, the pilot was built and originally supposed to operate only for two years, with the purpose of proving that wave energy can safely connect to the grid and withstand the Gibraltar storms, using its storm-protection mechanism.

However, the company decided to keep the pilot station operational for a longer time, as it was used as a real conditions research and development facility for the company.

This enabled the development of an improved storm protection mechanism, upgrades to the mechanical parts of the technology, and improvements to the automation system, that will be implemented in the EWP-EDF One project in Israel, which is currently in advanced construction and expected to commence operation in the upcoming months.

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In the last period of operation analyzed by Eco Wave Power’s engineering team, the Gibraltar operation and maintenance cost (not including employees) decreased from 18% of the Capex in 2017, to only 3.2% in 2021, the company informed.

Also, during the period from August 2020 through July 2021, the company was able to reach 73% of the forecasted available energy for the site, which is a significant improvement to the 30% in the parallel period in 2017-2018.

Eco Wave Power noted it plans to release more detailed results in the upcoming months.

In parallel, the company said it will be entering discussions with the Government of Gibraltar regarding a larger space necessity for its potential commercial-scale development of an up to 5MW in Gibraltar, in accordance with the terms of the Power Purchase Agreement between the parties.

Charles Collinson, director of European Union Programs Secretariat at HM Government of Gibraltar, said: “Eco Wave Power was one of the first projects approved under the 2014-2020 European Regional Development Fund Program (ERDF).

“The project was unique in both concept and achievements. It was able to create a pilot project for research and development of a unique and innovative wave power station within the jurisdiction of Gibraltar, together with all the inherent problems of space and lack of infrastructural support.

“The project is truly a success story of the ERDF programme. Not only achieving its initial targets but setting new standards in the renewable energy field. It has minimal visual impact on the landscape; does not create any interference on the sea floor; minimal to no impact on the marine environment; produces no pollutants, waste products, noise nor gaseous emissions.

“It reduces shoreline and breakwater erosion and extends their life span. It has almost zero-carbon footprint. It is also a prime example of the leadership of women in the complex and innovative field of wave energy technology.”