World’s Biggest Wave Farm Move Forward

VolkerStevin Marine was appointed by RWE npower, the U.K. subsidiary of German energy giant RWE AG (OTC:RWEOY) (Essen, Germany), for the Siadar Wave Energy Project (SWEP) on the Isle of Lewis, the largest of the Western Isles off Scotland’s northwest coast. The project is expected to produce 4 megawatts (MW) of electricity, enough energy to meet the annual needs of about 1,500 homes.

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Siadar will be the first commercial scale scheme in the UK generating clean electricity created through wave energy.

VolkerStevin Marine business unit director John Lovell said: “This is an exciting time for renewable energy development in the UK. The first commercially viable wave energy power project has been long awaited and we are pleased to be working with RWE npower renewables and Voith Hydro Wavegen to make this become a reality.

“We still have work to do on the design and construction of the project in terms of its continued viability and the engineering techniques required, but we are confident we can produce a scheme for our client that could be functional by 2012.”

The team is currently undertaking a feasibility study looking at the construction design and viability, with the aim of fabrication works starting in 2010.

The near shore structure to house the wave powered turbines will involve the construction of a concrete breakwater structure.

This will be built in sections, approximately 50m long, in a dry dock, before being floated out to the site and immersed on the prepared seabed.

The Siadar Wave Energy Project (SWEP) will be a 4 MW wave farm, to be built by npower Renewables and Wavegen, 400 metres off the shore of Siadar Bay, in Lewis, Scotland. It is claimed that it will be the world’s largest wave farm, larger than the Pelamis station in Portugal, the only other commercial-scale wave farm. The £30 million project received Scottish Government approval on 22 January 2009, and is planned to open in 2011.

The wave station will be based on oscillating water column technology. A 200 metre causeway will be constructed, and a breakwater with 10 concrete caissons, containing 36 to 40 Wells turbines, placed on the seabed.