SURGE (Simple Underwater Renewable Generation of Electricity) is a project founded by European Union. It consists of a plate anchored on the sea bottom at its base that moves back and forth with the surge to create a piston pump due to this kinetic energy. The project aims to access the WaveRoller device in a holistic manner and consequently, besides the performance, it includes an environmental program in order to evaluate some of the environmental impacts that it may have. It should be noted that these studies go beyond the legal requirements for the project implementation and they aim to proactively identify, target and address the potential impacts, both positive and negative, derived from the installation of the Waveroller device. Although the project ended in 2013 AW Energy will continue operation in the same site and environmental monitoring programs will go on also until the device has been decommissioned.
Located near Peniche, Portugal in the Atlantic Ocean in 8-20 metres depth.
In 2011 an environmental incident assessment (also known as Appropriate Assessment) was made for this project because the site is in a Natura 2000 area. According to the Portuguese decree no. 225/2007 an Environmental Appropriate Assessment process has to be carried out for projects located within Natura 2000 sites, National Ecological Reserve sites or National Grid of Protected Areas. The study investigated Waveroller’s possible environmental impacts and suggested mitigation actions. The main outcome was that WaveRoller’s environmental impacts are less significant and they mainly take place in the installation phase. Later in the same year AW Energy obtained environmental license for the project after favorable conditional Environmental Impact Assessment decision (in Portuguese "Decisão de Incidências Ambientais favorável condicionada").
Construction of the devices took place in Finland and Portugal from early 2010 until mid-2012. The initial work was conducted in Finland, while the construction of the floating foundation, composite panels and full assembly of WaveRoller was executed locally in Peniche, Portugal.
WaveRoller was installed in August 2012 and has been in operation ever since. The SURGE project ended in October 2013 but the device will continue to be tested in the same site.
Environmental monitoring of the SURGE device was finalized in 2014.
The Environmental Incidence study was submitted to the regulatory authority, Comissão de Coordenação e Desenvolvimento Regional (CCDR) de Lisboa e Vale do Tejo in May 2011. In August 2011 AW Energy was awarded with environmental license. The license was originally for two years and AW Energy has requested to continue it.
The key environmental issues identified are underwater noise generation during operation and alterations on macro benthic communities and sediment movements. All these issues are in the environmental program of the project and they were addressed through monitoring. Also marine mammal monitoring was conducted apart from the program of the SURGE project.
Environmental Website: http://aw-energy.com/waveroller/#environment for older data related to the SURGE 1 project.