Composites-intensive wave energy technology receives new funding

CorPower Ocean and OPS Composite Solutions secure almost €500,000 from EEA grants to advance buoy-based renewable energy technology.


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CorPower composite buoy farm

CorPower’s Wave Energy Converters (WEC), comprising filament-wound composite hulls, are designed to generate electricity from ocean waves to complement other renewable energy sources like offshore wind. Photo Credit: CorPower Ocean

Wave energy developer CorPower Ocean (Stockholm, Sweden) and engineering firm OPS Composite Solutions (Kristiansand, Norway) announced on Jan. 26 that new funding has been received for joint project COMPACT (COMposite Pressure cAsing for CosT), which aims to combine CorPower Ocean’s wave energy technology with low-cost composite design and fabrication processes from the offshore industry.

The partners say they have secured close to €500,000 in EEA grants under Iceland, Lechtenstein and Norway’s Blue Growth Program for stimulating innovation, creating jobs and driving growth for SMEs.

The COMPACT Project aims to boost the performance and slash costs of CorPower’s next-generation, composites-intensive Wave Energy Converters (WEC), which CorPower says will soon enter their flagship HiWave-5 demonstration phase in northern Portugal.

CorPower composite buoy
Photo Credit: CorPower Ocean

CorPower Portugal Country Manager Miguel Silva said the latest development marks another significant milestone speeding up the process to commercialization. “The COMPACT project combines CorPower’s world-class WEC design knowledge with OPS’ vast experience in composite pressure vessels for offshore applications. Together, we are aiming to develop new technology addressing two common challenges experienced in state-of-the-art wave energy technology — weight and price,” he says.

Silva continues, “The process will involve developing, testing, manufacturing and certifying an innovative light-weight pressure casing (cylinder), which is a key component of our WEC system. By making the WEC significantly lighter and using cost-effective materials and production technology, the COMPACT solution aims to increase energy efficiency while decreasing cost of energy.”

Reidar Anderssen, OPS Composite Solutions general manager, adds, “We are proud to be a partner to CorPower in this industry-advancing project. We strongly believe that the combination of OPS’ extensive experience with composite materials, and CorPower’s advanced technology, will bring this project closer to a successful industrial future.”

According to the partners, the COMPACT Project will actively contribute to the Portuguese Industrial Strategy for Ocean Renewable Energies, which claims ocean renewable energy has the potential to supply 25% of Portugal’s annual power consumption, while the sector could generate €254 million in investment, €280 million in gross value added, €119 million in trade and 1,500 new jobs.