Yes, Inform me when...


Date: October 15, 2013 at 18:26 GMT

The European Wave Energy plant at the island of Pico, on the Azores is a 400 kW rated, bottom-mounted shoreline Oscillating Water Column (OWC), equipped with a fixedblades Wells turbine.

The Pico OWC was built between 1995 and 1999, co-funded by the European Commission, however accidents due to flooding and malfunction problems with the equipment affected the real scale testing and delayed the testing programme of the plant, which in reality has had a negligible amount of operational hours so far.

In March 2003, the non-profit association Wave Energy Centre (WEC), dedicated to the development and promotion of ocean wave energy, was established by associating several companies and R&D institutions in Portugal and beyond. Among the first acts of WEC was to propose a project for refurbishment and testing of the plant in 2003 to a new national funding scheme (PRIME/DEMTEC - Incentive Scheme for the Implementation of Pilot Projects Related to Technologically Innovative Products, Processes and Systems), which was granted, allowing the works to start late 2004 and to initiate testing in September 2005. 

This paper describes the overall refurbishment project of the plant, relevant observations regarding difficulties and options, its actual status and plans for next years concerning the operation of the plant. Further, main achievements during the testing period and conclusions obtained so far are presented and discussed. 

The OES is organised under the auspices of the International Energy Agency (IEA) but is functionally and legally autonomous. Views, findings and publications of the OES do not necessarily represent the views or policies of the IEA Secretariat or its individual member countries.