Wello launches Penguin WEC2 for CEFOW project

Finnish wave energy developer Wello Oy has launched the next iteration of its Penguin wave energy converter (WEC) into the water in Tallinn, Estonia, as part of the CEFOW (Clean Energy From Ocean Waves) project.

The Penguin WEC2 unit is to be towed to the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) in Orkney, Scotland, where it will be deployed alongside Wello’s original Penguin WEC.

Funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program, the CEFOW project aims to build and deploy an array of three Wello Penguins at EMEC’s grid-connected wave test site at Billia Croo, on the west coast of Orkney.

The first of the three Penguin WECs was installed by local marine contractor Green Marine in April 2017 and has remained on site since then, surviving wave heights of over 18 m.

Learning from the WEC1 demonstration has fed into the development of WEC2.

Using dry mate connectors, a bespoke four-way smart subsea hub will interconnect the dynamic umbilical cables from each WEC to EMEC’s marine export cable. Power will then feed into EMEC’s onshore substation and into the national grid. The hub incorporates subsea switchgear, enabling the disconnection of a single device while allowing the other two to continue generating.

“We are very pleased that the CEFOW project has been successful in securing consent for the first WEC array on a single electrical cable, in Scotland,” said Caitlin Long, environment and consents specialist with EMEC. “The awarded marine license provides Wello and Fortum with the required flexibility to commence with the installation of the second WEC’s moorings and the smart hub. This is a great achievement by the project consortium and we look forward to welcoming two more Penguins to EMEC.”

The CEFOW project has received funding from the EU’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under grant agreement No 655594. The mission of the five-year project is to research and develop the use of the Penguin WEC in electrical-grid-connected ocean conditions. The multi-device test project will be carried out at EMEC. Led by Fortum, the joint project consists of Wello Oy, Green Marine (UK) Ltd, Uppsala University, Plymouth University, the University of Exeter and EMEC.

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