Annual Report 2016
Country Reports


José Luis Villate TECNALIA, in collaboration with APPA-Marina



The Biscay Marine Energy Platform (BiMEP), promoted by EVE and IDAE, is in operation since its inauguration in July 2015. BiMEP is an open sea test centre of 5.2 km2, restricted to sea traffic, with depths going from 50 to 90 m. It is located in an area with high energy potential (21 kW/m) and its proximity to the nearest port (1 nmi) guarantees fast access.

The area has a strong and nearby coastal utility grid (132 kV-20 MW capacity). BiMEP is equipped with four berths of 13,2 kV/5 MW each connected to the grid, environmental monitoring services and 24/7 surveillance and emergency response. BiMEP hosts the first floating wave energy device connected to the grid in Spain (more information about this project in section 5 about Technology Demonstration). There are other projects that are carrying out trials at BiMEP but without grid connection. This is the case of ZUNIBAL S.L. that is testing the ANTEIA low cost metocean buoys.

Mutriku wave power plant is the first multi-turbine wave energy facility in the world. It is integrated with the breakwater of Mutriku (Basque Country) and based on the OWC (Oscillating Water Column) principle. It has 16 air chambers and 16 sets of “Wells turbines + electrical generator” of 18.5 kW each. The plant was connected to the grid in July 2011. One of the air chambers is prepared to test OWC components (air turbines, electrical generators, power converters and control systems) and has been used by Oceantec to test its air turbines before installing them in the MARMOK-A-5 device at BiMEP.

PLOCAN offers a test site for marine energy converters among other uses. It includes an offshore platform, which has recently been fixed to the seabed at the north-east of Gran Canaria Island: 1.5 km from shore at 30 m depth. Following successful completion of the mooring procedure, the operation was completed on 1 December, leaving the platform resting on a previously prepared base on the seabed. The platform is a multipurpose infrastructure providing workshops, laboratories, classrooms, training rooms and open working areas around a test tank to facilitate sea trials and launching vehicle to the sea. It is expected to be fully operational during the first semester of 2017. Two submarine medium voltage cables are expected to be installed in the first quarter of 2017, which will allow delivering the electricity generated by devices under testing offshore. The initial capacity is set up at 15 MW with a future extension planned up to 50 MW by 2020. Three wave energy devices have already been tested at PLOCAN without grid connection (Wedge, Wello and Pipo System). PLOCAN is also hosting offshore wind demonstration projects such as the ELICAN project led by the Spanish company ESTEYCO: a 5 MW offshore wind turbine prototype will be installed in 2017 over a telescopic mast with a gravity based mooring.

Installation of PLOCAN offshore platform


The Mutriku wave power plant has completed its first five years of continuous operation reaching a record of cumulative energy produced from waves with more than 1.3 GWh injected into the power grid.

Mutriku wave power plant


The Basque company Oceantec Energías Marinas, promoted by TECNALIA and Iberdrola, has recently deployed its first Wave Energy Converter (WEC) at BiMEP. The transport to site operation of the WEC, so-called MARMOK-A-5, and its installation at BiMEP was completed on 12 October. Oceantec has been working on the development of its own wave energy conversion technology over the last 4 years. It is a point absorber based on the Oscillating Water Column (OWC) principle. The prototype installed at BiMEP resembles a large floating buoy of 5 metres in diameter, 42 metres in length and 80 tonnes weight. The generating system comprises two air turbines located in the upper part of the device with a rated capacity of 30 kW. The turbines were previously tested at Mutriku wave power plant. The device was connected to the grid in early December delivering the first kWh on 13 December. The technology development has been supported by the Basque Energy Agency – Ente Vasco de la Energía (EVE) under a Pre-commercial Procurement Contract. The testing activities of the WEC are also part of the European project OPERA, already mentioned in the previous section.

 FMARMOK-A-5 device, developed by Oceantec, during its installation at BiMEP                                                                                                                                                                             

UNDIGEN+ is a demonstration project partially funded by the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness, led by the Spanish tech-company WEDGE GLOBAL in collaboration with SAES, CIEMAT and PLOCAN to be expectedly concluded by 2017. The Project is based on the industrial-scale W1, which configures itself as an axisymmetric resonant point absorber with an innovative direct drive power take-off (linear generator) by applying & validating the continuous R&D activity developed in wave energy (technology development & testing) for more than ten years.

The W1 system has been testing under openocean & harbour tests at PLOCAN site in the Canary Islands (achieving non-stop tests & wave power generation results for the period 2014-2016).

UNDIGEN+ wave energy device at PLOCAN

After wave tank testing, Rotary Wave has developed a higher scale device (1:4) to demonstrate the Butterfly technology in a relevant environment (Mediterranean Sea). The device was designed to provide 10 kW and from the experiences obtained, study data of power was around 7 kW. The Butterfly device was tested in Pobla de Farnals (Valencia,Spain), where local average waves are around 0.5 m, therefore the power obtained was a successful result. The project was finished in September (2016) with outstanding and promising results.

 Butterfly device experiences in Mediterranean Sea (Valencia, Spain)



The Spanish company EnerOCEAN leading the WIP10+ project plans to install a prototype of a floating platform, including offshore wind turbines and wave energy converters, at PLOCAN to be tested during 2017. After the experience with the 1:4 scaled device, Rotary Wave is up and expecting to install a device connected to the grid in 2017.

Galicia-based Magallanes Renovables expects to start testing a 2 MW prototype of a floating platform with submerged tidal turbines in February 2017. This will start in a location near Vigo, before being transferred to EMEC in Scotland. There they will study the equipment under real operating conditions over a period of one year.