Aguçadoura Wave Farm

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Aguçadoura Wave Farm
Pelamis bursts out of a wave.JPG
Pelamis machine bursting through a wave.
Aguçadoura Wave Farm is located in Portugal
Aguçadoura Wave Farm
Location of Aguçadoura Wave Farm in Portugal
Country Portugal
Location Póvoa de Varzim
Coordinates 41°25′57″N 08°50′33″W / 41.43250°N 8.84250°W / 41.43250; -8.84250Coordinates: 41°25′57″N 08°50′33″W / 41.43250°N 8.84250°W / 41.43250; -8.84250
Status Offline
Commission date 23 September 2008
Wave power facility
Type Surface-following attenuator
Distance from shore 5 km (3 mi)
Power generation
Units operational 3 × 750 kW
Make and model Pelamis
Nameplate capacity 2.25 MW

The Aguçadoura Wave Farm was the world's first wave farm. It was located 5 km (3 mi) offshore near Póvoa de Varzim north of Porto in Portugal. The farm was designed to use three Pelamis Wave Energy Converters to convert the motion of the ocean surface waves into electricity, totalling to 2.25 MW in total installed capacity. The farm was officially opened on 23 September 2008, by the Portuguese Minister of Economy.[1][2] The wave farm was shut down two months after the official opening in November 2008.[3][4]

Pelamis machines[edit]

A Pelamis machine at the wave park.

Developed by the Scottish company Pelamis Wave Power, the Pelamis machine is made up of connected sections which flex and bend relative to one another as waves run along the structure. This motion is resisted by hydraulic rams which pump high pressure oil through hydraulic motors which in turn drive electrical generators. The three machines which made up the Aguçadoura Wave Park were each rated at a peak output of 750 kW, giving an installed peak capacity of 2.25 MW, enough to meet the average electricity demand of more than 1,500 Portuguese homes.[5] The average output from a Pelamis machine will depend on the wave resource in a particular area. The higher the resource the higher the average output. According to information on the Pelamis web site, it appears that the average power output for a Pelamis wave machine is about 150 kW. [6]

Project management[edit]

The project was originally conceived by the Portuguese renewable energy company Enersis, which developed and financed the project and which was subsequently bought by the Australian infrastructure company Babcock & Brown in December 2005. In the last quarter of 2008, Babcock & Brown had its shares suspended and has been in a managed process of selling its assets, including the Aguçadoura project. In March 2009, Babcock & Brown went into voluntary administration.[7]

In November 2008, the Pelamis machines were brought back to harbor at Leixões due to a technical problem with some of the bearings for which a solution has been found. However, the machines are likely to remain off-line until a new partner is found to take over Babcock & Brown’s 77% share in the project. This seems unlikely, because according to Pelamis "those machines are sub-optimal" and the owner is trying to sell them.[4] Pelamis is now focusing its efforts on the new P2 machine,[8] which is being tested in Orkney in Scotland since 2010.[needs update]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "23 de Setembro de 2008". Government of Portugal. Archived from the original on December 7, 2008. Retrieved 2008-09-24. 
  2. ^ Jha, Alok (2008-09-25). "Making waves: UK firm harnesses power of the sea ... in Portugal". London: The Guardian. Archived from the original on 26 September 2008. Retrieved 2008-10-09. 
  3. ^ "Pelamis Sinks Portugal Wave Power". Archived from the original on 21 March 2009. Retrieved 2009.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  4. ^ a b "Pelamis Wave Power Jettisons Its CEO, Rough Waters Ahead?". Retrieved 2009.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  5. ^ "Wave energy contract goes abroad". BBC Scotland. 2005-05-19. Retrieved 2008-08-06. 
  6. ^ "Local Resource Assessment". Pelamis Wave Power. Archived from the original on 22 August 2010. Retrieved 2010-08-12. 
  7. ^ Murdoch, Scott (2009-03-14). "It's game over for investment bank Babcock & Brown". The Australian. Retrieved 2009-03-14. 
  8. ^ "E.ON UK Launches First Pelamis P2 Wave Power Device For Test". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 2010.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)[dead link]

External links[edit]