Seabased cancels Sotenäs wave park expansion. Continues R&D

Seabased WEC installation (Photo: Seabased)

Seabased is reportedly discontinuing further deployments at its Sotenäs wave energy park off Sweden as it plans to continue with wave energy research in the area.

Swedish wave energy developer Seabased said it is no longer pursuing the deployment of a Sotenäs wave energy park, which currently has 36 generators installed at about 50 meters depth, some 5 kilometers northwest of Smögen, according to local news provider Lysekilsposten.

In the view of Seabased management, the need to install several hundred of the same kind of generators off the coast of Smögen, which was the original idea, is no longer present, the company said for Lysekilsposten.

However, Seabased noted that the area in question is still interesting for continuing research and development projects for wave energy.

At present there are no buoys attached to the 36 generators, and as such, no electricity production, but Seabased plans to continue the work with these generators next year, together with other companies.

In this regard, the company is establishing cooperation with Sotenäs Center for Symbiosis in Kungshamn, where Seabased plans to open an office starting from January 2018, Lysekilsposten reports.

“From Seabased’s side, we see many possibilities to continue the development on the environmental side in a creative environment in Kungshamn.

“We will continue to develop the Sotenäs park with different tests and perhaps collaborations with other companies, for example Fortum. There can even be opportunities for research and development of new kinds of wave generators.

“We are in the process of applying for EU funding for further development of our wave power technology, and the application will be considered in the near future,” Øivind Magnussen, CEO of Seabased, said for Lysekilsposten.

Sotenäs wave energy pilot served its purpose

In order to continue to phase 2 of the Sotenäs wave energy project, which received grants from the Swedish Energy Agency, Seabased would have needed to apply for further funding.

The company has decided not to do this as it believes it got what it needs from the project, according to Sebased.

With installation depths of 50 meters, a relatively mild wave resource and low cost of electricity in Sweden, Sotenäs was intended to be an excellent pilot site for the world’s first grid-connected multi-generator wave park, rather than a commercially competitive venture, Seabased said.

Magnussen said: “We are very pleased with this project, and have learned a great deal; for example, that our generators are very efficient with relatively low wave heights of 1-3 meters. So efficient, in fact, that the effect of the 36 installed wave energy converters could be increased from 1 to approximately 3MW.

“We have also learned about the managing the entire process from permits applications to grid connection, and about scaling up production of generators and buoys.”

The generation results, combined with cost control and installation know-how amassed during the project, have convinced Seabased that they can be competitive in many areas of the world today.

“Given a wave climate and installation conditions suited for our S2.7 technology, Seabased should be able to deliver electricity to the grid for under 10 cents per kWh. We are now focused on commercial projects markets where our technology is competitive,” concluded Magnussen.

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