US-based wave energy developer CalWave has completed its open-ocean wave energy pilot after 10 months of continuous operation off the coast of San Diego, California.
The project was deployed in September 2021 to demonstrate CalWave’s xWave technology as a commercially viable generation resource.
Supported by the US Department of Energy (DOE), the demonstration marks California’s first at-sea, long-duration wave energy project, according to CalWave.
“Marine energy technologies—like CalWave’s xWave—hold incredible potential to help transform our energy system in numerous ways, from serving as a resource on our nation’s grid to helping remote and coastal communities reduce their reliance on fossil fuels to powering ocean exploration and observation systems,” said Jennifer Garson, US Department of Energy’s Water Power Technologies office director.
“CalWave’s successful deployment in California marks a critical step in their pathway to commercializing their wave energy system and is an important step forward in the marine energy industry’s efforts to demonstrate and deploy these technologies.”
The pilot device, named x1, has now been recovered and decommissioned. CalWave will now use the findings to inform their next grid-connected deployment to occur at the 20MW PacWave wave energy test site off the coast of Newport, Oregon.
Key results of the x1 pilot include:
• The x1 achieved the performance as targeted and predicted by CalWave’s simulations;
• The onboard controller took over full autonomous operations for roughly 80% of the operating time;
• The fully-submerged xWave architecture enabled the technology to survive several major storms;
• The wave load management mechanisms, comparable to pitch and yaw control in modern wind turbines, allowed for rapid and effective reduction of storm loads on all parts of the system.
Marcus Lehmann, CalWave’s CEO and co-founder said in a statement: “Our pilot of the x1 provided us with critical results necessary to advance on the path towards commercialization. As offshore wind development is growing rapidly in the US and globally, we recognize the significant opportunities for wind and wave farm co-location.”