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Portugal's Pelamis Wave Power Project Killed

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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Written By

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.

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