Australian designed wave energy technology will be deployed off the coast of northern Africa, to help wean the fourth largest of the Spanish Canary Islands, Lanzarote, off diesel powered electricity.
The project, led by Indian project developer Enzen, will submerge one of Bombora Wave Power’s mWave energy converters in the Atlantic Ocean on the northern coastline of the island, where a “large and consistent” resource has been identified.
Harish Gopal, the CEO of Enzen Spain, said the first phase of the project would see up to 4MW of generating capacity through the deployment of an array of 1.5MW mWaves.
The wave farm – which will be developed in partnership with local governing body, Cabildo de Lanzarote – will be used to supplement the island’s existing electricity electricity supply, Gopal said, currently mostly produced by a diesel-fuelled power station.
“Our commitment to the Cabildo de Lanzarote, is to lead their transition of energy generation to renewable sources, developing energy solutions with low or zero impact on the physical environment to ensure conservation of land on the island,” Gopal said.
“We are delighted that as part of that programme we have selected Bombora as one of our key partners to supply a technology solution to enable us to generate energy with no visual pollution.”
For the Western Australia-based Bombora, the Lanzarote project marks another major step in the commercialisation of its technology.
As we reported here in 2016, the mWave had already been attracting strong interest in Europe, including a proposal to roll out a series of commercial-scale wave farms, starting in Portugal.
Bombora is also in the process of installing a 1.5MW demonstration project in the Marine Energy Testing Area off the coast of Pembrokeshire, Wales.
Due for completion in the summer of 2020, the demonstration project will run concurrently with the consenting process for the Lanzarote wave farm, Bombora said.
“This grid connected wave farm project is a very exciting opportunity for both Bombora and the people of Lanzarote and will place Lanzarote at the global forefront of wave energy commercialisation,” said managing director Sam Leighton.
“Enzen and Bombora are now engaging with the local supply chain in Lanzarote to deliver the project with Bombora providing specialist engineering support from our European headquarters in Wales.”
The Bombora project is also welcome news for Australia’s wave energy industry more broadly, after one of its most promising examples, fellow WA company Carnegie Clean Energy, went into voluntary administration.
The company’s CETO 6 technology, which has been successfully demonstrated off Garden Island near Perth, is considered among the most advanced in the world.