Wello Oy, based in Finland, has signed a contract with Chinese conglomerate CIMC Offshore Engineering Institute (CIMC OEI) to begin “a joint research phase for defining an optimized Penguin Wave Energy Converter (WEC) design for Chinese waters.”
CIMC OEI is located in Yanti, Shandong province, China. Yanti is bordered by the Bohai Sea and the Yellow Sea, and is directly west, across the Yellow Sea, from North and South Korea. CIMC OEI is a subsidiary of CIMC Group, an international corporation that provides offshore equipment and contract services to clients.
According to the announcement made earlier this month, following the research phase defined in the contract, Wello is to establish a demonstration site in China.
Neither the amount of the contract nor its duration were immediately released. But presumably, the implication is that if the optimization and demonstration test site phases produce satisfactory results, Wello could likely deploy marine energy projects around China.
“The most important part of the contract and the cooperation,” Wello said, “are finally the continuation projects. Wello and CIMC OEI aim for projects around China to fulfil the constantly growing (renewable) energy need in the country while simultaneously pursuing a transition away from use of coal and imported fossil fuels.”
According to data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration, in 2014, China was the largest coal consumer, accounting for 49% of the world’s total coal. The next largest, the U.S., consumed 11% of the world’s total. China’s coal consumption increased by more than 2.3 billion tons between 2003 and 2013, accounting for 83% of the global increase in coal consumption.
Wello is active in other parts of the world developing and deploying Penguin WECs.
In January, HydroWorld.com reported Wello announced it will provide a 10 MW marine and hydrokinetic energy park at Nusa Penida Island in Bali, Indonesia.
While Wello has not announced a start date for deploying its units in Indonesia, the company did say delivery will take place after the permitting process is finalized, which it estimates will occur in the end of 2018.
In March 2017, Wello successfully installed its Penguin WEC at the European Marine Energy Center’s grid-connected test site at Billia Croo, off the west coast of Orkney, Scotland.
In 2015, Finnish utility Fortum received a US$19.12 million grant from the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 program for a five-year wave energy research and development initiative.
The project, called “Clean Energy from Ocean Waves,” is coordinated by Fortum to further refine the Penguin WEC in grid-connected ocean conditions.