Europewave Reserves Berths at BiMEP and EMEC for Wave Energy Test Sites
EuropeWave has reserved berths at the open-water test sites of the Biscay Marine Energy Platform (BiMEP) in the Basque Country, Spain, and the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) in Orkney, Scotland.
The final phase (Phase 3) of the EuropeWave programme will see three prototype wave energy converter systems deployed in the Spring of 2025 for a 12-month demonstration and operational testing programme. Two systems will be deployed at the BiMEP test site, and one system deployed at EMEC’s Billia Croo test site.
The EuropeWave project is a partnership between Wave Energy Scotland (WES) and the Basque Energy Agency (EVE) to deliver a five-year collaborative R&D funding programme with match-funding through the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 programme. The transnational collaboration will channel almost €20 million to procure the most promising wave energy technology solutions.
Phase 2 of the programme recently got underway with five contractors progressing a front-end engineering design of their scale prototype device intended for the open-water trials in Phase 3. Three contractors will be selected to proceed to Phase 3 in the summer of 2023.
Yago Torre-Enciso, Technical Director of BiMEP, commented: “BiMEP is delighted to work for EuropeWave, the world’s most important ocean energy support project in recent years. EuropeWave is the push this sector needs to move towards the market and at BiMEP we will do our utmost to make the tests a success.”
BiMEP test site. Credit: BiMEP
Dernis Mediavilla, Marine Energy Development Manager of EMEC, added: “EuropeWave will culminate with three open-water demonstrations, vital for proving the technology as well as learning about installation practices, operations and maintenance, and the reliability and survivability of machines and components. Ultimately the goal is to help technologies reach the market and EMEC can help ready them for real-sea deployments and commercialisation. We’re excited to see which technologies progress to Stage 3 and look forward to welcoming one of them to EMEC in due course.”
Cardinal marker at EMEC Billia Croo wave energy test site (Credit Colin Keldie)
Tim Hurst, Managing Director of WES, said: “Reserving berths at EMEC and BiMEP is a key milestone for the EuropeWave programme that secures access to the test sites for the Phase 3 technology demonstrations. Deploying and operating devices in real-sea conditions is the ultimate challenge of the EuropeWave programme, demonstrating performance of the devices and their sub-systems and providing real-world learning about operational practices. The premise of the EuropeWave programme, which is using a pre-commercial procurement (PCP) model successfully implemented in Scotland by Wave Energy Scotland, is to provide a pathway to the commercialization of wave energy technology, and crucially, to diversify the renewable energy mix required to achieve net zero.”
Endika Aldaiturriaga, Project Manager of EVE, commented: “The signature of these agreements is a fundamental step towards successful achievement of EuropeWave project objectives; the design, deployment and testing of three promising technologies in open sea. These deployments will take place in well-prepared and recognized testing areas, who bring extensive experience on hosting wave energy converter tests, facilitating the job for the developers and giving them confidence in the sector-wide recognition of their work. For the EuropeWave Buyer’s Group, collaboration with BiMEP and EMEC is a guarantee of quality on the results and robustness on the process we are pushing forward.”