OPERA project set to reduce wave energy costs

The Biscay Marine Energy Platform (bimep) will host the sea trials of the wave energy converter as part of the OPERA project which aims to halve the cost of wave energy.

Project OPERA (Open Sea Wave Operating Experience to Reduce Energy Cost), coordinated by Tecnalia and Ente Vasco de la Energía (EVE), will see the deployment of point absorber oscillating water column (OWC) wave device developed by Oceantec Energías Marinas at bimep.

The prototype device to be tested is shaped like a giant buoy and is 5 m in diameter, 40 m high and weighs around 70 tonnes. The device generates power when the waves cause water column to rise and fall, compressing and decompressing the air above, which spins the turbine.

OPERA is a research project that aims to develop a technology that would reduce the cost of operating wave energy devices at sea for 50%, accelerate the development of international standards and reduce uncertainties and technological risks.

The project will collect and analyze data from the wave energy device operating at sea, at bimep and wave energy plant Mutriku, for at least two years. The collected data will be shared with all actors involved in the development of wave energy sector, according to EVE.

The international consortium, consisting of Tecnalia, University of Edinburgh, the University of Exeter, University College Cork , the Higher Technical Institute of Portugal, the Basque Energy Board, bimep, Kymaner, Iberdrola Engineering and Construction, Oceantec, DNV GL and Global Maritime, has been allocated €5.74 million for the realization of the project by the Horizon 2020 programme.

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