Ocean energy project Westwave, led by ESB, has been awarded a €238,000 grant by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI).
The grant, awarded under SEAI’s Ocean Energy Prototype Research and Development Programme, focuses on the development of ocean energy devices and systems.
It’s payable after the applicant achieves specific milestones, including grid feasibility studies, foreshore licence application, technology assessment and project design.
WestWave aims to install and operate wave energy converters which generate 5MW of clean energy by 2015 by harvesting a tiny part of the powerful waves hitting the west coast of Ireland.
“Ocean energy presents significant opportunities for Ireland, given that we have the best resource in Europe,” said Brian Motherway, CEO at SEAI.
“However, we need the technologies to harness it and we need to seed the early stage activities that will build an industry cluster in this country.
“SEAI’s ocean energy prototype fund provides the much-needed support for industry to research and develop these new technologies and systems that will have the potential to compete in a global market.
“We must find ways to capture ocean energy cheaply if we are to improve Ireland’s energy security and switch to clean, carbon-free energy sources. Any Irish company leading the way in this work is helping Ireland to build a new manufacturing and service sector, and assisting in creating a more sustainable energy future,”
The project is being led by ESB and has involvement with technology developers and government bodies.
“ESB’s sustainability strategy focuses on renewable energies and this welcome support will help our Westwave project put Ireland at the forefront of innovative technologies and job creation in the green energy sector,” said ESB chief executive Padraig McManus.
“The level of commitment by SEAI is an indicator of the true determination to develop the potential of Ireland’s indigenous energy resources”.