Atlantic resort set to cash in on wave energy

Langlee wave power converters are to be built in and installed offshore the Canary Islands
Langlee wave power converters are to be built in and installed offshore the Canary Islands

Norwegian nous has dealt a further blow to the UK’s supposed lead in wave-power technology application and development by tying up an arrangement with a popular Atlantic holiday centre.

Tenerife Island Council has signed an agreement with Langlee Wave Power to “promote” the installation of wave energy plants in local waters as a “viable, competitive and efficient” alternative to other types of energy currently in use.

This is the second such Canaries agreement for the Norwegian company.

Langlee has chosen the Atlantic islands – an outpost of the EU through Portugal – as the manufacturing site for its generator. This semi-submersible floating converter, known as the Robusto, converts wave movement into electrical energy.

Wave conditions off Tenerife, particularly to the north of the island, are considered highly suitable for wave-based power generation.

The municipalities of Garachico, Buenavista and Icod de los Vinos are already planning to install wave converters off their coasts.

The island’s council intends to take an active part in developing, commissioning and running the wave farms.

The agreement with Langlee is expected to help Tenerife adapt to the EU legislative framework that aims to have a minimum share of renewable energies in gross final energy consumption of 20% by 2020.

Langlee’s CEO Julius Espedal said of the arrangement: “We have chosen to focus on the Canary Islands as our initial market because of the good wave resources, strong local shipping industry and political support. Installing our floating converters will make Tenerife an international pioneer in the development of this type of energy.”

The Robusto converter is claimed to combine cutting edge Norwegian offshore technology with standard, low maintenance components and materials.

The simple design means that most components can be manufactured or assembled in the Islands, potentially delivering a boost to local industry and creating a skilled workforce in the badly hit Canary Islands economy.

The converter will have an output of 132kW in the first phase. The 30x50m device would be assembled on land and towed to the installation site for mooring. The number of units assembled depends on the energy requirements.

Langlee recently signed a similar agreement with Lanzarote Island Council to install a 500kW pilot plant at La Santa, in the north of the island.

Connected to Club La Santa sports hotel, the wave energy park is expected to power 50% of the energy consumption of the hotel, whose three Olympic swimming pools and 440 apartments make Club La Santa a large consumer in this part of the island.

The company believes that offshore energy farms will attract foreign investors and capital to the Canary Islands.