Wave power has a huge potential to meet the world’s need for electricity, but the technology for harnessing the energy from waves has long been under development. The company CorPower Ocean is one of the companies trying to crack the code and has just installed its first full-scale converter in Portugal.
Wave power is an energy source that could be a contributor to reaching the Global Goals and making the transition to a more sustainable society. The technology is however under development and far from other renewable resources like solar and wind power in terms of development and efficiency. The solution needs to withstand harsh environments, without becoming too big and expensive to produce.
The Swedish company CorPower Ocean believes that it has found the solution to the problem. By building a buoy that moves with the waves, more energy can be extracted from each wave. CorPower estimates that this technology makes it possible to extract about three times as much energy as previous technologies.
First commercial-scale wave energy converter
In September 2023, CorPower Ocean successfully installed its first commercial-scale Wave Energy Converter in northern Portugal. The device, the C4, was launched in the port of Viana do Castelo, before being towed to the Aguçadoura site located 4 km offshore. Before the launch in Portugal, the C4 completed a one-year dry test program with simulated wave loading in Stockholm.
After connecting to a pre-installed UMACK anchor on the seabed, the device was connected to the Portuguese national grid through a subsea export cable. The system will now undergo a commissioning program, with functions and operational modes being gradually verified. Operations and Maintenance methods for offshore service access, device retrieval and tow-back to the on-land service base in Viana do Castelo will also be tested.
The project is funded by the Swedish Energy Agency and Portugal 2020 through AICEP Global (Norte2020) and CCDR-N. CorPower Ocean has also been financially supported by EIT InnoEnergy, the European Commission, Wave Energy Scotland, CoreSpring New Technology, ALMI Invest Greentech, SEB Greentech VC and additional private investors.