Power plant (illustrative)..
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Tel Aviv-based Eco Wave Power, which works to harness energy from ocean waves, has established a Chinese subsidiary and received approval to establish its first plant in the Asian country, the company announced on Thursday.
Eco Wave’s subsidiary, Suzhou Eco Wave Technology, will operate in the city of Changshu, in the jurisdiction of Suzhou, in the Jiangsu province. Construction of the 100-kilowatt, grid-connected power plant on Zoushan Island in the eastern Zhejiang province is expected to be complete by the end of 2015, the company said.
Establishment of the subsidiary is the result of an initial $800,000 investment, with 80 percent of the money coming from a Chinese governmental fund and 20% by Eco Wave Power. This investment was announced at an initial signing ceremony in Beijing in May 2013, in the presence of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
In addition to the first pilot power plant on Zoushan Island, Suzhou Eco Wave Technology is in advanced negotiations regarding an additional 50 MW in the Zhejiang province, according to Eco Wave.
Operating on- and near-shore, Eco Wave’s technology employs “floaters” called “The Wave Clapper” and “Power Wing” that are able to survive during hostile storm environments, the company said.
The floaters, or buoys, “rise and fall with the up-and-down wave motion, lifting force, change of water level, hydraulic air lock and incident flux of waves,” the firm said. An automated control system is able to supervise the rise and submersion process of the floaters in case of stormy conditions.
Eco Wave currently has a pipeline of a about 99 MW worth of projects, including the 50 MW in China, the company said. The company’s 10-kilowatt pilot plant initially installed in the Crimean peninsula now sits in Israel’s Jaffa Port.
Meanwhile, construction is about to start on a power plant in Gibraltar, following the signing of a power-purchase agreement with the territory’s government last June. This agreement allowed for an initial 500-KW facility on the island’s east side, with the option to expand to 5 MW if the project is successful.
Regarding China, however, Eco Wave’s leaders stressed that the country is particularly suitable to harnessing wave energy due to its 18,000 kilometers worth of coastline and approximately 6,500 islands.
“We believe that China is being very innovative by replacing some of its coal and other polluting methods with renewables such as solar, wind and now wave energy,” Eco Wave founder and CEO David Leb and cofounder Inna Braverman said in a joint statement. “Suzhou Eco Wave Technology is happy to be part of China’s renewable energy mix, and we are hoping that other countries will follow.’ Eco Wave joins a second Israeli firm that has also established wavebased power plants in China, Blackbird International Corporation’s Wave Electricity Renewable Power Ocean (WERPO), formerly known as SDE Sea Wave Power Plants.
WERPO has two power facilities in China and 11 joint ventures with local partners in nine different countries. In October, the company received approval from the Kenyan Energy Ministry to construct a 100-MW facility off the Kenyan coast. On Wednesday, WERPO announced that it was in the process of arranging a visit to Grenada to begin negotiations on building a sea-wave energy system there.