Finavera to develop 20-MW wave plant in South Africa

Ireland-based Finavera Renewables Ltd. announced September 25 it will build a 20-MW wave energy power plant off the coast of South Africa in the next five years.

Finavera Chief Executive Jason Bak made the commitment at the Clinton Global Initiative, a problem-solving gathering convened in New York by former U.S. President Bill Clinton. Bak said Finavera took the initiative to “move ourselves aggressively toward a sustainable ocean energy source.�

Although few details were released, Finavera said its wave energy division, the former AquaEnergy Group Ltd. of the United States, would build the 20-MW project in South Africa for a total investment of more than US$40 million over five years. The project is to generate more than 30 million kilowatt-hours per month, save US$2 million per year in fuel, and avoid about 20,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions.

Finavera said a percentage of the project’s return would be used to alleviate “energy poverty” and would provide local economic benefits by job creation.

Finavera reported in August that AquaEnergy’s proposed 2-MW Figuera da Foz wave energy plant in Portugal made successful application to the European Commission (EU) under the EU’s Framework Protocol 6 program. It said that means the commission might contribute up to 1.37 million euros (US$1.75 million) toward development of the wave energy plant using AquaEnergy’s AquaBuOY technology. (HNN 8/11/06)

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