Case Study


Mutriku Wave Energy Plant

Mutriku Wave Energy Plant, Spain.

The Mutriku Breakwater Wave Plant is a wave power plant that was officially commissioned in July 2011 by Spanish utility company Ente Vasco de la Energía (EVE) and received an investment of €6.4m. Dr Ken Tease, OEC while working for Voith Hydro Wavegen Ltd. was a key technology advisor for the design, manufacture and commissioning of the power generation equipment. A programme of wave tank testing was carried out on the Oscillating Water Column breakwater structure at this facility. Energy yield estimates and survivability cases were investigated for the Mutriku wave resource.

Situated in the bay of Mutriku, Spain, the facility is the world’s first breakwater wave power plant with a multiple turbine arrangement.

The plant will generate an output of 300kW to power 250 households.

The project will help to reduce 600t of carbon emissions annually and it is hoped that the plant will spur similar developments across the World.

Mutriku harbour, which is located in the Bay of Biscay, is regularly hit by strong storms that often caused damage to the piers causing structural instability. The storms have also been known to cause several boat accidents locally. To address these problems, the Basque Government approved a plan to build a 440m-long detached, rubble mound breakwater facility.

After approving the breakwater project, the Basque Government approached EVE to develop a wave energy plant that will use the breakwater without affecting its primary functions. It received financial assistance from the European Commission’s Seventh Framework Programme.

IMAGE: Courtesy of Voith Hydro Ltd