Gallery: Portugal builds world’s first commercial wave farm!


What would you do if you ran out of land for wind farms to meet your ambitious renewable energy targets? Well, if you are Portugal, you get creative and build the world’s first wave farm off your coast. The intrepid country is poised to open what will be the world’s first commercial wavefarm, off the coast of northern Portugal at Agucadoura, where the expected total output of the plant will be enough to power around 2,000 homes.

The wave farm uses three Pelamis P-750 machines with a capacity of approximately 2.0 megawatts. The Pelamis machines, created by Ocean Power Delivery, are essentially a series of semi-submerged tubes which are linked to each other by hinged joints. It is these joints which are the trick behind the system. The joints act as a pumping system, by pushing high pressure oil through a series of hydraulic motors, which in turn drive the electrical generators to produce electricity. Needless to say the machines are moored to the ocean bed. To give you an idea of the size of each module, the 750kw prototype, is 120m long and 3.5m in diameter. Each of these modules is composed of three individual 250kw tube.

Three of these machines compose the first phase of the wave farm, which was commissioned by the Portuguese renewable energy company Enersis. They will provide a total of 2.25 megawatts. If successfull the wave farm will be expanded to 30 of such modules. Intriguingly enough, the company mentions that they are not concerned about profitability, which the project wouldn’t reach until there at least enough modules for 500MW. What they want to is prove that there is a market for this type of technology. “What we are assembling here is the first wave farm in the world,” says Antonio Sa da Costa of Enersis.

The wave farm is expected to be operational within the end of the year. + Pelamis Wave Power + Portugal gambles on ‘sea snakes’ providing an energy boost @ the Guardian


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  1. Bud Hunsberger August 25, 2011 at 6:14 am

    I found your web page from lycos and it is very informative. Thank a lot for sharing such an amazing post.

  2. rasinant February 8, 2011 at 1:11 am

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    The expertise made with the purpose licensing the new engine has shown, that it is a really novelty and has fairly great future. Because of the absent of corresponding financial and material-technical means I still have not succeed in preparing a prototype of the engine and in showing its ability in practice. I’am looking for partnership & cooperation. That is the reason why I decided to apply with the proposal of cooperation to interested persons inviting to put a finish to the works of engine’s preparation.According to the made accounts for construction of a sample will be necessary $ 70000-85000. Also, I want to inform, that in order to carry out the idea it is necessary to do some theoretical and practical works & in my opinion a workgroup consisted of several specialists who have such kind of experience in case of corresponding conditions’ presence identically and during half-year will be able to carry the calculations to the final completion and to construct the sample copy of the mechanism (engine). I am ready for participating to the works of prototype’s making as a simple member of the workgroup.
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  3. Stellathomas October 29, 2008 at 1:15 am

    The world ’s first commercial wave farm went live at the end of September in Agucadoura, located off the coast of northern Portugal. Depending on the wave resource, machines will on average produce 25-40% of the full rated output over the course of a year.

    Link Building

  4. casasbarlavento May 14, 2008 at 9:46 am

    I know that sometimes we get distracted about our futebol and politicians stories.

    But something I must say, what a wonderful idea that my country had !

    Let just hope they don’t run out of money in the mean time ….

  5. Sean January 22, 2008 at 9:10 pm

    Actually, the unit by Finavera does, in fact, produce electricity. There is expected to be a commercially operated wave park by 2010 which will produce 2MW and it seems it will take up a much smaller space than the method described in the articel above. The Aquabuoys have a low silhouette in the water and are arranged vertically, but their overall dimensions seems to be somewhat similar. In addition, they do not pump oil to generate, so there is not the danger of an oil leak. Instead, they use a piston that moves from wave movement to pump seawater through a turbine, which turns a generator. I would be willing to bet that generation produced by this method would be far greater than with the method described in the article above. Either way, all our countries are paving the way to cleaner energy . . . the USA and Portugal for using the wave technology, and Canada for creating the Aquabuoy (Finavera is Canadian). I am quite sure that we will all be producing and using this technology in great quantities soon.

  6. » Portugal bouwt ... December 1, 2007 at 11:30 pm

    [...] Lees meer over dit initiatief op de volgende site. [...]

  7. Our Tough Nature »... October 29, 2007 at 8:04 am

    [...] read more | digg story [...]

  8. John October 28, 2007 at 11:45 pm

    Great photos and an exciting time for new ideas in the maritime world!

    -Capt. John

  9. TecnoWeblog » L&#... October 24, 2007 at 8:11 am

    [...] Aviat a Portugal s’obrirà el parc offshore de generació d’energia mitjançant el moviment de les ones. Serà el primer comercial d’aquest tipus. L’empresa energis -del grup endesa- ha estat la dissenyadora del projecte que s’executarà a tres milles de les costes d’Agucadoura. El projecte es va iniciar l’octubre de l’any passat y compta amb tres generadors Pelamis P750 d’una potència aproximada de 2 megavats. Per a saber com funciona ves al  següent enllaç (infografia de PWP) Les feines de trasllat i muntatge les pots veure al següent vídeo. Vist a:  [The Guardian & Inhabitat] [...]

  10. manunair59 October 20, 2007 at 1:33 pm

    idea is fantastic as it is the need of the planet now. it is highly impressive for an india like me as we are depending on fossil fuels now also.

  11. Linda October 9, 2007 at 11:19 am

    I am totally impressed with Portugal. Having visited and seen the windfarms I fell that Portugal is on the leading edge of green technology. This is a country that uses it’s natural resources wisely. The rest of the world could learn from this. To say that it is “ruining the ecosystem and the landscape”…I see a positive adjustment to a very real world problem. I…for one..find the wind farms awesome and I love the swoosh sound. I am facinated with this “wave technology”

  12. Kevin Stacey October 9, 2007 at 11:16 am

    Sometimes we have to look at the big picture, and in this case, although it MAY affect some ecosystems, the alternative to keep going the way we are going is already destroying MORE ecosystems than this method possibly could. Why is the test so much higher on solutions than the areas that brought us problems in the first place?

    Way to go Portugal, my most favourite country in the whole world!!! I will live there some day! Escaping the dark ages of North America.


  13. Portugese Wave Farm &la... October 9, 2007 at 10:02 am

    [...] Filed under: alternative, environment, reduce — terra @ 10:01 am Portugal is building a wave farm to harness power from crashing waves, and convert it to electricity. They expect to use the wave [...]

  14. Inhabitat » WAVE ... October 8, 2007 at 3:26 am

    [...] most of our planet covered in water, wave-power is a promising source of renewable energy for the future. If more companies were trying to generate electricity from the [...]

  15. Le Portugal inaugure le... October 4, 2007 at 12:28 pm

    [...] Source : InHabitat [...]

  16. Why Don’t We Have... October 3, 2007 at 1:28 pm

    [...] output of energy from the plant is estimated to power about 2,000 homes. Check out the article here for more details on how they accomplished this green friendly [...]

  17. Emily October 3, 2007 at 12:07 pm

    What if the internal oil leaks? Effects on wildlife?

  18. Chesney October 3, 2007 at 5:29 am

    Yes but the Finavera prototype is 1/10th scale and is principally a metal structure that doesn’t produce any electricity. Pelamis tested a similar scale prototype in 2001 – being 6 years behind I think Finavera have still got quite a bit of catching up to do!

  19. derek October 2, 2007 at 7:53 pm

    Actually the first? It’s not operational yet and North American companies are catching up… Their prototype has been in the water off the coast of Oregon for a month now.

  20. en vrac *quel originali... October 2, 2007 at 4:58 pm

    [...] on n’a pas de sous, mais on a des idées …. [...]

  21. Tiago October 2, 2007 at 2:20 pm

    There was a big article about this in the newspaper Expresso (17th of February 2007).

  22. October 2, 2007 at 11:49 am

    [...] read more | digg story [...]

  23. Pedro Jose October 2, 2007 at 11:31 am

    Hi, funny…im in Portuguese…and i did not seen anything on the news.
    i have found this news thru digg.

  24. Chat Marchet News Diges... October 2, 2007 at 11:30 am

    [...] Read the whole article… This entry was posted on Tuesday, October 2nd, 2007 at 12:07 pm and is filed under le Chat Marchet. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site. [...]

  25. Michigan USA October 2, 2007 at 11:04 am

    I have visited Europe (Spain mostly) and have seen great strides into greener energy. Spain has put up lots of windmill farms in the last 10 yrs. Even flying into other cities in Europe you can see wind farms. However, in the US we are putting up more coal burning plants and nuclear reactors. It’s amazing on the green stance of Europe compared to USA.

  26. João C October 2, 2007 at 10:38 am

    Os melhores inventores são portugueses. O maior problema de Portugal é falta de dinheiro para conseguir financiar as ideias dos “desenrascados”. Podemos ser um país pequenino, mas que temos grandes mentes, lá isso é verdade!

  27. João Sousa October 1, 2007 at 12:29 pm

    It’s great to see that my country, wich lives a bit in the shadow of Europe, is doing progresses in therms of renewable energies. For the last 10 years we have saw an enormous development on the wind farms that are very common in all the high-lands of the country. Although I think that there is a problem about this because we are producing green energy and at the same time we are destroying a lot of ecosystems and most of all the beautifull landscapes that we have all over the north of Portugal.

    I believe the same thoughts can be applied to this kind of system. As we are a country surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, there are great chances to produce energy out of the waves produced by the wind. Allthough there is also the risk of affecting the ecosystems on the open sea (that are alo more vulnerable) and also afecting the navigation.

    There are a lot of factors we must think about when we try to implement this technology.

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