Langlee Wave Power signs agreement for Stewart Island
Langlee Wave Power today announced it has signed a collaboration agreement to help power New Zealand’s remote Stewart Island using only energy from the sea.
The Norwegian headquartered wave developer has signed the agreement with New Zealand based Tangaroa Energy for a test device to be deployed off Stewart Island in 2012.
The aim is to help the 400 strong island population become less reliant on diesel generators and ultimately achieve self sufficiency through ‘green’ energy. Langlee Wave Power made the announcement at the All Energy conference and exhibition in Aberdeen, where it is showcasing its unique Wave Energy Converter devices.
Founder and CEO Julius Espedal said: “Stewart Island is an area of natural beauty with 85% dedicated as a nature reserve, but it suffers from a volatile diesel generated power supply. Our Wave Energy Converter technology is ideal for the size of waves experienced around Stewart Island and will provide a sustainable, clean energy solution.”
Tangaroa Energy has started consulting residents on the ‘island of tranquillity’, with around half of the population attending a public meeting last month. A full-scale test with the 50 kW Langlee E1 will supply 280 MWh pr. year – enough to power 50 homes. The plan is to roll out a further three devices the following year which would provide enough electricity to power the whole island, delivering a more stable, cost effective energy supply to residents.
The 50 kW E1 device is a floating structure which uses horizontal wave movements, harnessing it into energy set around a simple steel tubular structure. A key benefit is the simple offshore design with quick installation and maintenance with no need for cranes, remotely operated vehicles or divers.
Kevin McGrath, Director of Tangaroa Energy said: “Our collaboration agreement with Langlee Wave Power is a major step forward in providing a realistic, renewable energy source for Stewart Island. It will reduce the island’s dependence on burning diesel to generate power as a fuel source, which is linked to the upward trend in international oil prices. The Langlee technology is groundbreaking, generating significant power from the movement of waves and the structure is easy to install with the potential to fabricate it in New Zealand.”
The lightweight device is securely moored to the seabed and laps up wave movement through large water wings. These move in opposite directions providing optimal power efficiency which is converted into electricity through special generators. Costs to residents will be competitive with current diesel prices and would provide a more secure future energy supply.
Tangaroa Energy and Langlee Wave Power are looking at various funding sources and grants to help cover the £900,000 (NZ $1.8 million) project costs.
Stewart Island is the third largest island of New Zealand and is an area of extreme beauty. In 2002 the Rakiura National Park was formed comprising 85% of the island. It has abundant flora and fauna with lush rainforests and sweeping sands.
Langlee is exhibiting on stand G70.