OAKLAND, Calif., Sept. 1, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — CalWave ("CalWave Power Technologies, Inc."), a leader in wave energy development, has successfully concluded its open-ocean wave energy pilot after 10 months of continuous operation off the coast of San Diego. The project, which deployed in September 2021, was supported by a US Department of Energy (DOE) award with the goal to demonstrate CalWave’s scalable and patented xWave™ technology as a cost-effective, sustainable solution for energy generation. Not only does the demonstration represent California’s first at-sea, long-duration wave energy project, but it also serves as a critical step toward proving wave power as a commercially viable renewable resource.
The pilot device, named x1, has now been recovered and decommissioned. Findings will inform CalWave’s next grid-connected deployment, scheduled to occur at the federally-approved, 20 MW PacWave wave energy site off the coast of Newport, Oregon.
A full technical release can be found here.
Wave energy has been assessed by experts as capable of supplying upwards of a third of global energy demand, yet the development of technology capable of reliably withstanding harsh ocean conditions has been slow to evolve, until now. CalWave’s pilot verified its xWave™ system as effective for overcoming the key challenges of performance, reliability, survivability, and cost.
During the demonstration, the fully autonomous and submerged operations allowed the x1 to survive several large storms due to the unique load mechanism, similar to pitch control in modern wind turbines. This enabled CalWave’s technology to operate with zero intervention and 99% system uptime.
Environmental monitoring instrumentation deployed by Pacific Northwest National Laboratory supported the conclusion of no adverse risks to the surrounding marine ecosystem.
In January 2022, CalWave was awarded an additional contract by the U.S. DOE to further develop the xWave™ technology for use on local energy grids and microgrids. CalWave is now contracted to build a 100 kW version of the xWave™ architecture for a two-year deployment at PacWave, the nation’s first accredited, grid-connected, pre-permitted wave energy test facility.
Marcus Lehmann, CalWave’s CEO & Co-Founder states, "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. CalWave thanks the U.S. DOE, our hosts at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, and many other partners and advisors that helped us during the planning, engineering and execution of the project."
"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, U.S. 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."
"Marine energy is a missing link to fully decarbonizing America’s electrical grid, and we are encouraged by the progress CalWave has made in developing the next generation of renewable energy technology," said Malcolm Woolf, National Hydropower Association’s (NHA) CEO.
Founded in 2014, CalWave’s vision is to unlock the power of ocean waves to secure a clean energy future.
The company is a member of the International Electrotechnical Commission’s U.S. Shadow Committee for international standards on marine energy, and NHA’s Marine Energy Council, which is calling for domestic marine energy deployment targets of 500 MW by 2030 and 1 GW by 2035.
SOURCE CalWave Power Technologies, Inc.