Penguin power for UK grid

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Green Marine transports Wello Penguin device to EMEC wave test centre (copyright Colin Keldie)Wello’s Penguin wave energy converter has successfully generated electricity for the national grid off the west coast of Orkney.

The Penguin was installed at the European Marine Energy Centre’s grid-connected wave test site at Billia Croo at the beginning of March by Orkney-based Green Marine.

This is the first of three wave devices due to be deployed at EMEC over the next three years as part of the CEFOW (Clean Energy from Ocean Waves) project, funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme.

The project to install the UK’s first grid-connected wave power array is being co-ordinated by Fortum, a multi-national energy utility.

Green Marine installs Wello Penguin device (copyright Colin Keldie)The aim is to ready the Penguin technology for commercialisation and focus to developing an efficient supply chain to support larger wave power projects in the future.

Mikko Muoniovaara, senior project manager at Fortum, said: “This is a very exciting period in the project for us, and the Wello office in Orkney has been buzzing with people eager to watch the screens showing the live generation feeds.

“This last month has proven the viability of the Penguin concept. Not only can the technology survive in the harsh waves around Orkney, but it can generate power from them. For Fortum, this is very promising progress.”

Neil Kermode, EMEC managing director, added: “This is a tremendous milestone for Wello and all CEFOW partners, but also for the wave energy sector as a whole.

“Not only has Wello’s Penguin survived heavy swell and stormy conditions since being deployed, it is now generating power into the local grid.

“Congratulations to everyone who has worked towards this moment, and we look forward to the future learning that will come from this project.”

The CEFOW consortium includes research organisations, wave converter technology developers, providers of marine services and a large multi-national utility company.

Green Marine's involvement in the CEFOW project is to design a safe and cost effective installation and maintenance plan along with the other partners.

The Orkney company is responsible for installing the mooring infrastructure, cabling and installing the Penguin devices on site, and ongoing maintenance over the full term of the project.

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