Bombora announces 60 MW wave farm in Portugal

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Bombora announces 60 MW wave farm in Portugal

Bombora Wave Power Pty Ltd has announced the results of its detailed feasibility study for a commercial scale wave farm. The Levelised Cost of Energy (LCOE) study, conducted with the support of a grant from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), shows that the cost of electricity from Bombora wave farms will be comparable to the cost of electricity from off-shore wind farms and solar arrays in Europe by 2023. Europe leads the world in the adoption of renewable energy and currently has the broadest usage of renewable energy sources.

Bombora’s LCOE study was based on a proposed 60MW wave farm in Peniche, Portugal. The proposed site is 2.5km long, approximately 700m offshore, with 40 1.5MW Bombora mWave™ converters deployed at a depth of 10 metres along the length of the site (refer Figure 1). Electricity generated by the 40 mWave devices is to be delivered into the grid via subsea cables.

Bombora engaged recognised industry experts and local suppliers to ensure both technical viability and costing accuracy, including WorleyParsons (structure and logistics), NGI (foundation systems), Trelleborg (membrane) and WavEC (Portuguese facilitation and wave resource assessment).

The study included investigations into a range of wave energy converter configurations, construction materials, construction process and deployment and maintenance processes. A single arm, 60 metre, two sided, concrete structure was selected as the preferred design (refer Figure 2).

Storm survival, an acceptable cost of energy and low environmental impact  are  widely  recognised  as being critical to the future acceptance of wave energy.

The LCOE study addressed all three of these issues:

  1. A detailed investigation into storm loadings was conducted ensuring the mWave™ would not be displaced during storm conditions.
  2. The ‘cost of energy’ analysis showed that Bombora wave farms will rapidly match the cost of electricity from other renewable sources. By 2023 the costs will be comparable to off-shore wind and solar arrays in Europe as detailed in Figure 3.
  3. The wave farm will not impact coastal amenity as the Bombora mWave™ rests on the sea floor, similar to a fully submerged reef.

Bombora is now preparing to deploy the first full-scale 1.5MW mWave™ converter in Stage 1 of its commercial wave farm in Peniche, Portugal in early 2017. This will confirm the mWave’s™ performance (primarily power output) and storm survival while assessing environmental impact. Stage 2 will involve a further three to five mWave’s™ being deployed at the same location.

Bombora is currently launching an A$8 million private capital raising to support Stage 1, with an initial A$1 million required to fund construction of the first ‘cell’ of the converter. In a grid connected wave farm, each 1.5MW mWave™ unit will cost A$4.75 million to manufacture, deploy and commission.

Bombora’s Chief Executive Officer, Sam Leighton, commented: 

“After nearly a decade of development, testing and refinement, Bombora’s breakthrough mWave™ technology will be on the world stage, competing with other renewables in the lucrative energy market within a year.  It is a unique time  to invest in a game-changing product for clean energy production. We are very fortunate to have had the support of ARENA and to work with numerous partners to bring us to this crucial stage in our vision of becoming a leading supplier of wave power energy.”

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