Seabased’s WEC uses a simple, ring-shaped buoy tethered by a steel and synthetic line to a power unit housed on the seabed, and based on the technology developed at Uppsala University. As the waves rise and fall, the buoy pulls up and down on a cable attached to a linear ‘translator’ — a kind of rotor — that uses a permanent or ferrite-magnet system encased in stators to generate power.
Skagerrak, North Sea, Swedish waters outside the municipality of Sotenäs and the town Smögen, 120 km N of Gothenburg, at approximately 50 m depth.
First phase, 1 MW (34 units), completed in early 2015.
Second phase, up to 9 MW, under negotiation during 2017-18.
Permit for operation is 20 years.
A full scale permitting process, including an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and consultations, started in 2007 and in October 2009 an application was filed to the permitting body, the Environmental Court in Vänersborg. Final court negotiations took place in May 2010 and the permit was issued in July 2010. Seabased was responsible for and carried out the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), including consultations etc., for the whole permitting process. Due to unclear competitive legislation, under the EU, the project awaited clearance from the EU for one and a half years before the project approval and start was given, which halted the project with some 18 months. A large number (15+) of additional permits/consents/licenses, from various authorities, were also required in order to enable necessary pre-construction studies, the project start itself and operation.
Although the project area was chosen carefully, in order to minimize competing interests and conflicts but without compromising with necessary siting requirements, the permit from the Environmental Court was conditioned with four “control programs” (post construction studies) regarding the marine environment: effects on the Norwegian lobster population (also a very important commercial species in the area); (benthic) fish population and behaviour changes in relation to the wave power park; eventual changes in the seabed conditions and therefore also the benthic faunal community, and finally; under water noise monitoring.
Environmental Webpage: https://www.seabased.com/environmental-benefits
The purpose of the environmental studies being undertaken at the Sotenäs wave energy park is to follow up expected, known possible stressors/receptors, follow up new findings, and with “new” monitoring techniques. The project was conditioned with four specific study/control programs considering eventual effects from: under water noise, seabed changes, population alterations in (1) Norwegian lobster and (2) fish in general within the projects area. Seabased AB is conducting the monitoring with support from Uppsala University (coordinating) but also Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences and Gothenburg University, plus independent consultancy firms.