Photo: Visitors boarding the Penguin (Courtesy of EVE)

Spanish officials hop on Penguin wave device

Spanish senior energy officials have highlighted wave energy opportunities in the Basque Country region during their visit to Finish developer Wello’s Penguin wave energy device presently moored at the Bilbao Port.

Visitors boarding the Penguin (Courtesy of EVE)
Visitors boarding the Penguin (Courtesy of EVE)

The visit brought together Javier Zarraonandia, regional vice-minister for industry and president of the Biscay Marine Energy Platform (BiMEP), Iñigo Ansola, director general of the Basque Energy Agency (EVE), and Víctor Marcos Morell, the director of renewable energies and the electricity market at the Institute for the Diversification and Saving of Energy (IDAE).

Zarraonandia highlighted ‘the Basque Country’s capacity to offer cutting-edge research areas that are competitive in Europe and to attract first-class technologists’ to conduct tests and studies in local infrastructures.

He said that this knowledge flow translates into new short- and medium-term opportunities for technological and industrial development, according to EVE.

Photo showing Penguin device temporarily moored at the Bilbao Port (Courtesy of EVE)
Penguin device temporarily moored at the Bilbao Port (Courtesy of EVE)

The visit also put the spotlight on some of the technological progress made in recent years in the area of floating wave power devices. This particular sector of the renewable energy industry is still under development but there are significant growth expectations for coming years, EVE said.

The boat-shaped Penguin wave energy device arrived in the Basque Country late in May.

After undergoing a series of maintenance operations, it will be installed this summer at the BiMEP offshore test site in the waters off Armintza, where it will be tested for two years.

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The device has a maximum power output of 1MW, and although it is still at trial phase, it could generate up to 1 million kWh, EVE claims.

The power produced by the 44-metre device will then be transferred to the land via BiMEP’s subsea cables and then fed to the grid.

The project also includes the Italian firm Saipem, which hopes to gain the necessary experience in engineering and offshore activities for the subsequent worldwide roll-out of Penguin wave energy converters.