09/10/2008: IBERDROLA RENOVABLES opens the wave energy plant at Santoña (Cantabria)

-The installation, located four kilometres from the coast at Santoña, has no visual impact and its first phase consists of a 40kW buoy

-The opening ceremony was attended by the Environment Secretary of the Cantabria Regional Government, Francisco Martín; the Secretary for Industry and Technological Development, Javier Del Olmo; the Mayor of Santoña, Puerto Gallego and IBERDROLA RENEWABLES Director for Spain, Víctor M. Rodríguez, among other personalities

-The installation, the first of its kind to be installed in Europe, should be able to cover the annual electricity consumption of some 2,500 homes

IBERDROLA RENOVABLES has opened the first buoy of the pilot wave power plant at Santoña (Cantabria), which became the first of its kind in operation in Europe.

The opening ceremony, held today in the Cantabrian town, was attended by the Environment Secretary of the Cantabria Regional Government, Francisco Martín; the Secretary for Industry and Technological Development, Javierl Del Olmo; the Mayor of Santoña, Puerto Gallego the Deputy Director General of the SODERCAN Group, Francisco Royano, and the Director for Renewable Energies of the IDAE, Jaume Margarit, among other personalities.

For IBERDROLA RENOVABLES, the Director of the Company in Spain, Víctor M. Rodríguez, and the head of Business Development in Spain and President of IBERDROLA Energías Marinas de Cantabria, Javier García, were in attendance.

The joint company that is developing the plant, called IBERDROLA Energías Marinas de Cantabria, S.A., is owned by the Company ( IBERDROLA RENOVABLES) (60%), TOTAL (10%), OPT (10%), the Instituto para la Diversificación y el Ahorro Energético (Institute for Energy Diversification and Saving), IDAE (10%), and the Sociedad para el Desarrollo de Cantabria (Cantabria Regional Development Agency), SODERCAN (10%). The budget of the first phase, which includes the marine electricity infrastructure –which will be subsequently deployed-, has risen to some €3 million.

The operation of the plant at Santoña involves a number of buoys that, due to the movement of the waves, produce a vertical movement that, through a hydraulic system, activates a conventional generator, which produces low-voltage electricity. This renewable energy will be extracted through a marine substation, in which the voltage is adapted to that of the grid.

Consumption of 2,500 homes

The first phase involved the installation of a buoy, supplied by OPT, made up of a float of some seven metres in diameter, a shaft –watertight cylindrical compartment- which contains the energy transformation system (20 metres in length) and a stabilizer of approximately 10 metres. It also has a mooring system consisting of three semi-submerged buoys anchored to the seabed at a depth of some 50 metres.

The energy transformation system, called Power Take Off (PTO), is made up of a series of internal modules, through which the wave energy is captured and converted in order to store it and, subsequently, extract it under optimum conditions.

Since this is an innovative project, before the installation, IBERDROLA RENOVABLES carried out numerous inspections and operating tests through simulations of the operating conditions that the buoy will have to deal with out at sea, with swells of varying intensity.

IBERDROLA RENOVABLES plans to include 10 buoys in the plant, which is located four kilometres from the coast at Santoña. The other nine buoys, which will be launched in a later phase, will have an installed power of 150 kW. When the 10 buoys are operational, the annual electricity output of this installation will be approximately equivalent to the domestic consumption of some 2,500 homes. The installation, which has no visual impact, will prevent the emission into the atmosphere of 2,600 tons of CO2 annually.

The project has been the beneficiary of the ‘Programa de Fomento de la Investigación Técnica’ (PROFIT) of the Ministry for Industry, Tourism and Trade, aimed at encouraging companies and other entities to carry out technological research and development activities, according to the objectives established in the ‘Plan Nacional de Investigación Científica, Desarrollo e Innovación Tecnológica (National Plan for Scientific and Technological Research, Development and Innovation) 2004-2007’, in the section dedicated to the ‘Fomento de la Investigación Técnica’ (Promotion of Technical Research).

Adding to this pioneering project in Cantabria is the wave power plant that IBERDROLA RENOVABLES is developing, through its subsidiary ScottishPower Renewables, near the Orkney Islands, to the north of Scotland, which will become the largest in the world in terms of installed capacity (3 MW). The Company is also analysing three coastal locations off Scotland and Northern Ireland for developing the largest projects in the world involving ocean currents, with a total power of 60 MW, enough to supply 40,000 homes.

IBERDROLA RENOVABLES reached an installed power throughout the world of close to 8,000 MW** at the end of the first half of 2008. The Company, which continues to consolidate its leadership at the forefront of the global wind power sector*, already has 4,383 MW of installed wind power capacity in Spain and 3,224 MW abroad.

The Strategic Plan 2008-2012 of IBERDROLA RENOVABLES anticipates the investment of €18,800 million during this five-year period, above all in the United States and Europe. The Company boasts a portfolio of products of 54,000 MW, which guarantees the construction of more than 2,000 MW annually during the coming years. For this, it has also covered its necessity of the supply of wind turbines up to 2012, with 10,000 MW assured.

* Source: New Energy Finance (December 2007)

** Does not include 606 MW owned by a third party under contract of sale of energy
[Submitted by Hemp4Fuel]