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Tenerife Island council promotes the installation of wave energy plants

Carlos Alonso, President of the Island Council, has signed an agreement with Julius Espedal, CEO of Norwegian marine energy company Langlee Wave Power

Tenerife Island Council President, Carlos Alonso, and Langlee Wave Power CEO, Julius Espedal, have signed an agreement to promote the installation of wave energy plants off the island of Tenerife. The aim is to install this type of sustainable energy off Tenerife as a viable, competitive and efficient alternative to other types of energy currently in use.

Norwegian marine energy company Langlee Wave Power has chosen the Canary Islands as the manufacturing site for its generator. This semi-submergible floating converter, known as the Robusto, converts wave movement into electrical energy.

Mr Alonso said: “We are strongly backing the development of sustainable energy, and signing the collaboration agreement is a clear indication of our support. Wave conditions in Tenerife, particularly in the north of the island, are the most suitable for generating this type of energy. We must take advantage of this”.

The Island Council intends to take an active part in developing, commissioning and running the wave farms in the northwest of the island. The agreement will help Tenerife adapt to the EU legislative framework that aims to have a minimum share of renewable energies in gross final energy consumption of 20% by 2020.

Mr Espedal added: “We have chosen to focus on the Canary Islands as our initial market because of the good wave resources, strong local shipping industry and political support. Installing our floating converters will make Tenerife an international pioneer in the development of this type of energy”.

The Langlee Robusto converter combines cutting edge Norwegian offshore technology with standard, low maintenance components and materials. Its innovative design means that most components can be manufactured or assembled in the Islands, giving a boost to local industry and creating a skilled workforce in the badly hit Canary Islands economy. The converter has no visual or environmental impact and is compatible with water sports.

The north coast’s wave conditions make it an ideal location for Robusto, which will have an output of 132kW in the first phase. The municipalities of Garachico, Buenavista and Icod de los Vinos are already planning to install wave converters off their coasts. The 30x50 metre converter is assembled on land and towed to the installation site for mooring. The number of units assembled depends on the energy requirements.

Langlee Wave Power recently signed a similar agreement with the Lanzarote Island Council to install a 500 kW pilot plant at La Santa, in the north of the island. Connected to Club La Santa sports hotel, the wave energy park will power 50% of the energy consumption of the hotel, whose three Olympic swimming pools and 440 apartments make Club La Santa a large consumer in this part of the island.

Installing these types of energy farms will encourage investment in R&D&I and attract foreign investors and capital to the Canary Islands. Tenerife is heading a project that will create a skilled workforce in the Islands and provide a viable alternative to the high costs faced by other renewable energies as a result of the region’s geography. The Islands can become - in a short period of time - both an exporter and a reference for this type of energy.