“In 2023 the waves of this city can be used not only for surfing and enjoying, but also to generate electricity.” The phrase, by Alejandro Ramón, Councilor for Climate Emergency and Ecological Transmission of Valencia, is probably the best slogan for the project that the Levantine city has just embarked on: the installation of an electric power generator that will take advantage of the waves of the sea to generate 130,000 kilowatts a yearEnough, say those responsible, for the city to see its annual production of CO2 reduced by 16 tons.
The initiative, named Wave Energy Center (WEC), has community support. In fact, it will be co-financed 50% by the City Council and the European Union. The plans of the Valencian Consistory go through launching the tender immediately -over the next few weeks-, that the works start after the summer and that by 2023 the generator is already operational. The device will be located in the northern part of the port of Valencia, in what is known as the “Martillo de la Marina”, in order to take advantage of the force of the waves. The Port of the city has already given its “ok” to the installation of the system. In total the generator will cost about 495,000 euros.
An energy that “is lost and not spent”
As the Port itself details, the device will be located in an area where the waves crash unhindered. “Both because of the orientation and the morphology of the outer jetty (vertical jetty), the reflection of the waves on the vertical wall itself increases the height of the wave and therefore the energy of the waves. The device will occupy a total area of 105 m2, corresponding to 77 m2 of land surface and 28 m2 of water surface”, [precisan desde el organismo portuario](This wave energy sensor, due to its characteristics and functionality, will be at the hammer head of the access channel to the Valencia Marina, an area where the waves hit without obstacles. In this area, both due to its orientation and the morphology of the outer jetty (vertical jetty), the reflection of the waves on the vertical wall itself increases the height of the wave and therefore the energy of the waves The device will occupy a total area of 105 m2, corresponding to 77 m2 of surface area land and 28 m2 of water surface.).
“Valencia is a coastal city and we hope that, in the medium or long term, that energy that is lost and not spent, which is the energy of the waves of the sea, can be used so that the city has a new source of renewable energy”, explained on Friday the municipal head of Climate Emergency and Ecological Transition: “The most positive thing about wave energy is that it turns out constant. The waves have different intensities in summer and winter, but this device allows a continuous generation of electricity”.
The system includes a device, similar to a float, which will in turn be connected to a hydraulic arm. Its constant and repetitive movement due to the swaying of the waves is what will allow electricity to be generated. What is known as wave energy offers a renewable source that can be obtained in different ways, such as oscillating water columns, oscillating converters, surface attenuators, absorption point buoys or overflow devices, among other systems. Although both are linked to the sea is different from tidal, which is nourished by the tides, not by the waves generated by the wind.
Since the summer of 2011, Spain has hosted the first wave plant in Europe that markets the energy it generates: the Mutriku Plant, in Guipúzcoa, equipped with 16 compressed air turbines that work with “oscillating water column” technology and generate a power of 296 KW. In other parts of the planet they have also begun to take advantage of the wave power. During Valencia’s own presentation, it was noted that countries such as Portugal, the United Kingdom or China participate in the same research project —the framework is MAtchUP H2020—. In Stockholm CorPower has also built an extensive test bench after a multi-year project.
Images | Candi… (Flickr) and Valencia City Council