Fortum leases site at UK ocean energy test bed

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Energy producer Fortum has signed a leasing agreement with ocean energy developer Wave Hub to test marine and hydrokinetic technologies off the coast of Cornwall.

Wave Hub is a grid-connected offshore test facility that will offer Fortum a “unique opportunity to test wave power converters in favorable ocean conditions,” the company said, in a berth that is capable of handling up to 10 MW of cumulative generation.

“This is as much ‘plug-and-play’ as it gets when it comes to wave power generation development,” Fortum Chief Technology Officer Heli Antila said.

Fortum could ultimately test a number of different technologies at the Wave Hub site, but said it is currently evaluating Wello‘s “Penguin” units for deployment. The generators rely on floating vessels that capture kinetic energy, Fortum said.

Since entering the marine and hydrokinetics sector in 2007, the Finnish utility has participated in the development of several MHK technologies, including the AW-Energy’s WaveRoller that has been successfully tested off the coast of Portugal.

This past year, the company signed an agreement with AW-Energy and DCNS to continue the WaveRoller testing off the northern coast of France.

Fortum is also working with Seabase AB to complete a 10 MW wave power park off the west coast of Sweden. The project is expected to begin producing energy later this year.

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Michael Harris formerly was Editor for HydroWorld.com.

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