Photo: The deployment of Penguin wave energy device (Courtesy of Wello)

Penguin wave energy device starts producing power offshore Basque Country

The 600kW Penguin wave energy converter, developed by the Finnish company Wello, has started generating clean power to the local Basque electricity grid.

Photo showing the deployment of Penguin wave energy device (Courtesy of Wello)
The deployment of Penguin wave energy device (Courtesy of Wello)

The 44-metre Penguin device was installed at the Biscay Marine Energy Platform (BiMEP), located 1.5 kilometres off the Spanish northern coast, in July 2021.

The device will remain at the BiMEP test site for the following two years, during which Wello will be undertaking several tests in order to fully validate its wave energy conversion technology and the robustness of the device.

Photo showing Penguin's 600kW generator unit (Courtesy of Wello)
Penguin’s 600kW generator unit (Courtesy of Wello)

“This deployment has already been a huge success, from the speed of the commissioning, from port side to deployment at site, to how quickly the device was able to begin generating once deployed.

“The success of this deployment, however, does not lie completely with Wello but lies in the other parties that also had a huge role in this project with their continual support of Wello and the Penguin wave energy converter.

“Wello has had the benefit to have the backing and partnership of offshore giants Saipem, experts in the offshore industry field that have chosen to back the technology as Wello makes its transitional step towards full commercial global deployments”, Wello said in a statement.

In this project, Saipem was responsible for the towing and deployment of the Penguin device.

The company will continue to have a role in the project as an O&M operator for the deployed device. Wello and Saipem have already been discussing future projects as well as a commercial wave energy park deployments in the coming years, the partners said.

In addition to Saipem, Wello has also had the continual support from BiMEP, and the Basque energy agency Ente Vasco de la Energía (EVE) which showed that governments are committed to the clean energy transition and willing to back it up by funding new renewable projects, the company said.

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Wello also added that it will be sharing as much as it can about the deployment at BiMEP, including findings, actual generation figures and future for the technology.

“We are at a point where the clean energy transition will happen. Wello has seen interest in its technology skyrocket, new initiatives have been set, and governments and large companies are starting to see the competitive advantage of wave energy.

“The Penguin generating to the Basque grid is just the start of it, and Wello are one of the first to show the world what the future of energy generation will look like”, Wello concluded.

Inspired by the natural movement of waves, the shape and power take of principle of the Penguin is rotation. The asymmetrical shape of the device is designed to capture the energy in the waves from all sides of the device.

As waves crash into its hull, the Penguin rotates in place around a central point, transferring and capturing the energy from the incoming waves.