The heart of the system is the WaveEL buoy – a point absorber – where the energy of the waves are converted into electric power.
Runde Environmental Centre, close to Ålesund in Norway. Water depth between 70-90 m, open ocean wave climate.
The Waves4Power wave energy system at Runde Environmental Center (REC) in Norway was initially launched in February 2016 with the placement of the WaveEL buoy on site. In May 2017, the complete system with the hub-buoy and sea cable was deployed and connected, including the custom designed marine cables. The Waves4Power system started delivering electrical power to the Norwegian power grid on June 2, 2017 when the sea cable from the offshore system was connected to the local power grid. The official inauguration of the WEC was on 21st September 2017, with H.M. King Harald of Norway present. As of December 2018, the WEC has so far logged 5 months of electricity production and grid delivery.
The WEC survived several storms and high waves during 2016. Commencing in June 2017 to deliver electricity to the grid. This constitutes a breakthrough event for such devices. King Harald officially opened the plant at Runde on 21 September 2017, with lots of media present. It gave Ocean energy significant attention and PR in Norway and Europe (http://rundecentre.no/offisiell-opning-av-waves-4-power-sitt-bolgjekraftverk-ved-runde/)
A licence was granted to REC/Waves4power in 2015 from the Norwegian Water Resource and Energy Directorate (NVE) for a period until 2019. The license needs to be renewed after 2019. The local utility company Tussa still holds the permit for the old sea cable (there are now 2 cables). The grid owner in the installation area is Mørenett AS.
Kustverket in Norway for chart updates and AIS license.
Energy department in Norway for marine and environmental consenting.
REC undertook an EIA and a baseline investigation, prior to filing the licence application, this was done in 2014-2015. The baseline covered the regular physical and ecological parameters, plus fishing and tourism. The EIA covered the potential impact the WEC may have on the fishing activities, outdoor life, marine life and seabirds. The EIA concluded that the WEC and hub likely will have any significant impact on the studied area and biota. Both the EIA (EIS) and the baseline study report are available at REC, on request. The Environmental monitoring programme is starting up.
Environmental Webpage: www.rundecentre.no