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Hydroelectric pelamis

Published on March 17th, 2009 | by Ariel Schwartz

19

Portugal's Pelamis Wave Power Project Killed

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March 17th, 2009 by
 

We were pretty excited about Pelamis’ wave power plan in Portugal., but not every technology written about here pans out in the end. Pelamis’ €9 million Aguacadora wave power project–the world’s largest–has been taken offline due to numerous technological and financial setbacks.

Pelamis installed three energy converters off the Portuguese coast in September, and planned to add 22 more for a total of capacity of 21 MW, or enough energy to power 15,000 homes. The initial three converters had to be removed in December, though, following leaks in the buoyancy tanks. A slew of more technical problems followed, and eventually Pelamis lost its financial backing.

A Pelamis spokesman claims that they go back online “as soon as things are resolved”–a claim that leads us to believe the project is kaput. Offshore power–whether wave or wind–isn’t cheap, and Pelamis’ funding problem shows that perhaps its golden years have yet to come.

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About the Author

was formerly the editor of CleanTechnica and is a senior editor at Co.Exist. She has contributed to SF Weekly, Popular Science, Inhabitat, Greenbiz, NBC Bay Area, GOOD Magazine, and more. A graduate of Vassar College, she has previously worked in publishing, organic farming, documentary film, and newspaper journalism. Her interests include permaculture, hiking, skiing, music, relocalization, and cob (the building material). She currently resides in San Francisco, CA.



  • helder

    So? the errors in this article are still not corrected?

    • Bob_Wallace

      If you see them then isn’t your question answered?

      • helder

        There is also a possibility that they are not errors but the truth – I would like to know.

        • Bob_Wallace

          Here’s something current…

          Published: Sept. 24, 2013 at 9:13 AM

          EDINBURGH, Scotland, Sept. 24 (UPI) —

          Wave energy company Pelamis said it completed testing on its next generation of wave power machines that could deploy in Scottish waters.

          The Pelamis P2 wave energy system off the Scottish coast marked its first year in service in May. The system works by converting wave energy into electricity using a snake-like device deployed offshore.

          Pelamis said it tested a small-scale P2e system, its next generation of wave energy computers, in the lab. It said the scale-model test simulated exposure to 50 hours of “extreme” weather that could generate waves of as high as 75 feet.

          The existing P2 system can generate as much as 100 kilowatts of electricity during normal wave conditions in northern Scottish waters.

          It operates routinely in waves as high as 8 feet.

          Ross Henderson, technology director at Pelamis, said in a statement Monday the “intensive” research and development program allowed the company to “make big advances” in wave energy.

          Pelamis said it was now moving the P2e to the design phase to build on its demonstration projects at the European Marine Energy Center off the northern Scottish coast.

          Read more: http://www.upi.com/Science_News/Technology/2013/09/24/Pelamis-tests-new-wave-energy-system/UPI-67071380028395/#ixzz2frcCv1kb

          • helder

            thanx, you seem knowledgeable Bob.

          • Bob_Wallace

            (I Googled… ;o)

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  • http://www.pelamiswave.com Max Carcas

    Ariel – it’s always good journalistic practice to check the source.

    The IHT report is misleading in a number of ways, as are some other reports that have referenced this (and now your report) and made 1 + 1 = 3. As a result we have put a statement on our website. I would appreciate it if you could at least remove the inaccurate headline.

    Yes, we did have a problem with some foam used to provide positive buoyancy to our subsea mooring turret to which the machines connected to when brought on site. However there are no tanks and they did not leak, and they are not part of the machine as Paul above has mentioned. The issue with the foam is historic – it was replaced on the subsea units prior to the installation of the first machine in July 2008 when the project started to produce electricity for the first time into the Portuguese grid network.

  • http://www.pelamiswave.com Max Carcas

    Ariel – it’s always good journalistic practice to check the source.

    The IHT report is misleading in a number of ways, as are some other reports that have referenced this (and now your report) and made 1 + 1 = 3. As a result we have put a statement on our website. I would appreciate it if you could at least remove the inaccurate headline.

    Yes, we did have a problem with some foam used to provide positive buoyancy to our subsea mooring turret to which the machines connected to when brought on site. However there are no tanks and they did not leak, and they are not part of the machine as Paul above has mentioned. The issue with the foam is historic – it was replaced on the subsea units prior to the installation of the first machine in July 2008 when the project started to produce electricity for the first time into the Portuguese grid network.

  • Paul

    Max Carcas is the spokesman for Pelamis Wave Power quoted by IHT! Who would you believe the quotee or the quotor? LOL

    Read it again “foam-filled buoyancy tanks for the mooring installation leaked” that’s not saying the generators leaked!

  • Paul

    Max Carcas is the spokesman for Pelamis Wave Power quoted by IHT! Who would you believe the quotee or the quotor? LOL

    Read it again “foam-filled buoyancy tanks for the mooring installation leaked” that’s not saying the generators leaked!

  • Ariel Schwartz

    @Max – So is the IHT lying here about the buoyancy tanks? http://www.iht.com/articles/2009/03/12/business/renport.php

  • Max Carcas

    This article contains a number of factual errors:

    1. The project has not been ‘killed’.

    2. The project has not suffered ‘numerous technological setbacks’ – of course there are technical issues in any first of a kind engineering project but nothing that would not be expected.

    3. The machines have not had leaks in buoyancy tanks

    4. Pelamis has not lost its financial backing; however the project’s owner – Babcock and Brown has been hit hard by the financial crises and is in the process of selling the project, following which operations will continue.

  • Max Carcas

    This article contains a number of factual errors:

    1. The project has not been ‘killed’.

    2. The project has not suffered ‘numerous technological setbacks’ – of course there are technical issues in any first of a kind engineering project but nothing that would not be expected.

    3. The machines have not had leaks in buoyancy tanks

    4. Pelamis has not lost its financial backing; however the project’s owner – Babcock and Brown has been hit hard by the financial crises and is in the process of selling the project, following which operations will continue.

  • russ

    New tech is extremely difficult and costly to develop to a successful commercial stage.

    I am most aware of iron ore direct reduction processes developed by Midrex of the US and HYL of Mexico. All the major steel companies in the world had spent years and billions of dollars trying to develop such a process without success.

    The two small unknown companies happened to hit upon the right combination and ‘made it’. That was in the early 70′s – they still dominate the field though it is on it’s final legs at this time.

    All one can do is watch and possibly try to support someone who you think is on the right path.

    This is also how come venture capitalists make big bucks when they support a winner – helps pay for the losing ventures of the past.

  • russ

    New tech is extremely difficult and costly to develop to a successful commercial stage.

    I am most aware of iron ore direct reduction processes developed by Midrex of the US and HYL of Mexico. All the major steel companies in the world had spent years and billions of dollars trying to develop such a process without success.

    The two small unknown companies happened to hit upon the right combination and ‘made it’. That was in the early 70′s – they still dominate the field though it is on it’s final legs at this time.

    All one can do is watch and possibly try to support someone who you think is on the right path.

    This is also how come venture capitalists make big bucks when they support a winner – helps pay for the losing ventures of the past.

    • 257 Hunter

      stupid fuckin niggers

      • wordsmith

        @ 257 Hunter: Die slowly (and painfully).

        • http://cleantechnica.com/ Zachary Shahan

          Whoa, i guess they didn’t mod comments back in the day. That’s so creepy and disgusting.

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