Langlee Signs Wave Energy Agreements at Canary Islands
Langlee has put pen to paper on agreements with clients, local government, and technology partners in the Canary Islands. Industrial partners and investors are now invited to participate in the commercialisation phase.
Canary Islands Regional Minister of Employment, Industry and Commerce, Francisca Luengo, recently announced that the Islands need this type of technology and local government will support their further development in the region. As President of the Canary Islands Institute of Technology (ITC), Ms Luengo has signed a cooperation agreement with Langlee concerning the identification of potential sites for pilot projects and the assessment of the optimal integration of wave energy systems in the insular electricity grids.
In Lanzarote and Tenerife, the Island Councils (Cabildos) – part of the local government of the Islands – have signed cooperation agreements with Langlee, and Lanzarote hotel Club La Santa could soon be home to the first commercial installation in the Canary Islands.
Used for training camps by world cup swimming, cycling and handball teams, this sports hotel is a major resort with 500 apartments and three Olympic size swimming pools, making it a large energy consumer.
The wave power park planned for the complex will provide 50% of the hotel’s energy consumption in an initial phase and may be expanded in the future. “As an addition to our existing solar power, the Langlee wave park will be an important step towards our goal of making La Santa’s energy supply 100% renewable,” said Frederik Sohns, director of Club La Santa.
Carlos Alonso, President of Tenerife Island Council, said: “In our view, the development of Langlee is an attractive option for Tenerife. We are evaluating specific investments in Langlee wave parks through our technological institute, ITER, for when the prototype has been certified through the required tests.”
Puertos Canarios, the Canary Islands Port Authority, would also like to use Langlee technology in harbours throughout the Islands where existing infrastructure and good wave conditions will make projects viable. At the same time, Langlee is negotiating with the administrators of several reverse osmosis desalination plants that produce fresh water from sea water. This energy-consuming process currently accounts for 20% of total energy consumption in the Islands.
Langlee’s design is based on Norwegian offshore technology and the production process has been industrialised in Spain. The prototype is ready for construction and will be tested at the PLOCAN test site in Gran Canaria.
Julius Espedal, CEO and founder of Langlee, stresses the importance of an integral business approach. “In addition to ensuring thorough technical preparation, we have put a major effort into marketing. We see opportunities for many interesting projects in the Canary Islands once the prototype has been certified.”
Langlee’s business model is to sell entire wave power parks, complete with operations and maintenance agreements, to large consumers and public utilities. The steel structure is built locally and the generator system is made by Langlee. This reduces investment costs and creates skilled jobs at a local level. In two years, after full-scale verification, the company plans to copy the business model world wide. Island communities with good wave conditions and few alternative energy sources are the primary market, as Langlee can now compete commercially with both diesel generators and offshore wind farms.
The development has been financed through the Norwegian Research Council, Innovation Norway, Invest in Spain and Swedish family investment firm Färna Invest AB. “Langlee is now moving into the commercialization phase and we have now started the process to find new investors and partners that can participate in taking the company to the next level,” Espedal says. Langlee has engaged Ernst&Young, Transaction Advisory Services, to identify potential investors and partner.
In technical terms, wave power is no longer impossible; in the last few years, several companies have demonstrated successful prototypes that deliver electricity to national or local grids. Langlee has placed as much emphasis on efficient production to make wave power competitive with other renewable energy sources as it has on marketing to ensure growth after the prototype trial.