Basque Country presents Europe's first commercial wave energy plant

17 October 2011

BRUSSELS: Xavier Garmendia, Basque Country Vice Minister of Technology and Industrial Development last week presented the Mutriku Wave Energy Plant at the European Open Days in Brussels. 

The plant, located in the Basque seaport of Mutriku, is the first commercial wave energy device in Europe.

Making use of the construction of a new breakwater at the entrance to the harbor, the plant harnesses wave power using Oscillating Water Column (OWC) technology.

16 turbo-generator sets will generate an output of 300 Kilowatts to power 250 households, helping the Basque Country to reduce its carbon emissions by 600 tons annually. 

A second project illustrating the region’s ambition is the Biscay Marine Energy Platform off the cost of Armintza. Due to begin operating during the second half of 2011, it will provide space for testing and demonstrating offshore wave energy converters in order to help speed up technology development to the commercial stage.

Marine energy offers a vast, but yet mostly untapped clean energy potential, with many different approaches to be piloted and explored. The Climate Group States and Regions Alliance member the Basque Country is amongst the globally leading regions in promoting these low carbon opportunities

The development of marine technologies is a strategic priority in the Basque Country’s Energy Strategy 2020.

As Vice President Garmendia highlighted during his presentation: “[we] wanted not only to generate clean energy but also to generate knowledge and expertise in clean technologies”.

Marine technology is also a focus for The Climate Group member Brittany, who participated in the event’s panel discussion on marine energy potentials.

Brittany is home to what is set to become the world’s first large-scale, grid-connected tidal energy farm off the coast of Paimpól-Bréhat.  

Luc Bas, Director of European Programs, The Climate Group, commented: "The Basque Country together with other members of The Climate Group’s States and Regions Alliance such as Scotland and Brittany show leadership on starting to harvest the vast potential of wave and tidal renewable energy. We are excited about their part in the Clean Revolution." 

The Basque Country 


Mutriku Wave Energy plant 

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