Madrid, Spain [RenewableEnergyWorld.com] The renewables unit of Spanish utility Iberdrola has begun testing a wave energy pilot plant in Santona, Cantabria. The company has begun on-shore testing of the operation of the internal components of the first buoy, manufactured in the United States and named Power Take Off (PTO).
The PTO units are installed in a sealed cylindrical compartment – the shaft of the buoy – 20 metres long.
The PTO units capture wave energy and process this for storage before it is evacuated under optimum conditions, Iberdrola Renewables says. The testing phase will conclude this month when the buoy will be deployed at sea, depending on weather conditions, with the goal of going operational the first half of this year.
The installation will be located 4 km from the coast of Santoña and will feature 10 buoys together with a navigation beacon. In the first phase a 10 metre-long 40 kW buoy will be anchored to the seabed some 50 metres down. The remaining nine buoys, planned for a later phase, will have a combined initial capacity of 125 kilwatts. The joint company developing the plant, named Iberdrola Energías Marinas de Cantabria, S.A., is 60 percent owned by Iberdrola, with Total, OPT, the IDEA Institute for Energy Diversification and Savings, and the Sodercan Cantabria Development Society holding 10% each. The budget for the first phase, which includes the marine electrical infrastructure, comes to some €3 million [US $4.5 million].