During his tour of different energy efficiency projects in the Basque Country, Vice-President of the European Commission and Energy Commissioner Maros Šefčovič visited the Mutriku wave plant along with Basque Minister Arantxa Tapia, Deputy Minister Javier Zarraonaindia, EVE director Iñigo Ansola and Director of Energy Aitor Oregi. Mutriku is an innovative wave plant that is giving excellent results in both renewable energy production and R&D.
The marine facility of Mutriku is a commercial plant for the electric generation from wave energy. This demonstration plant has reached a world record by producing 1.3 GWh (1,300 kWh) directly to the general distribution network for use, for example, in homes and industries. The plant production can be modest compared to other more mature generation technologies (e.g. wind or combined cycle power plants) but to date this milestone has not been achieved by any other wave generation plant.
Another outstanding feature of this plant is its use as a testing infrastructure for new turbine technologies and control systems. Not surprisingly, marine technologies are under development to achieve system improvements and make them more efficient, reliable and with lower costs. Last year, the Basque company Oceantec thoroughly tested its new air turbine at the Mutriku facility before deploying its floating wave energy converter in the open sea, as part of the OPERA project research activities.