European Federation of Agencies and Regions for Energy and the Environment



Nereida MOWC

Demonstration project with successful incorporation of Oscillating Water Column technology in Mutriku, in the North coast of Spain. First breakwater wave energy project in Europe.



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  2007-2010

  Renewable energy


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The NEREIDA OWC projects pursues several specific objectives:

  • To assess the performance of the various components and the overall performance of the power plant
  • To correlate site performance against the predictions of a wave to wire model
  • To compare alternative blade forms on the wells turbine in terms of damping, conversion efficiency and nose generation
  • To monitor the electrical output and consider the implications on power quality
  • To measure the influence of absorbing power using wave energy plant on the structure loading of the breakwater
  • To assess the reliability and the maintenance requirements, and to demonstrate the survivability of the plant in extreme wave conditions
  • To assess the environmental impact and the economics of the power plant, and to identify further cost reductions
  • To develop a business plan for the future development of OWC in breakwaters of Europe
  • To disseminate the project results to facilitate the development of OWC and other Ocean wave Technologies

Eight OWC cells will be constructed to give an active collector length of close to 100 meters. Power take-off involves multiple turbine, each turbine being rated at 18.5kWe. Two turbines will be fitted to each OWC cell giving 16 turbines in total and a total installed power of 300kW.

The application of this technology at Mutriku will not only demonstrate the functional synergy between breakwaters and OWC systems but will do so in a location which, in contrast to previous European wave energy demonstrators, is in a urban location. There is good access to the OWC units via the breakwater and the application of the technology at these particular location will greatly increase the knowledge of the environmental acceptability of the system.

The integration of the wave energy converter into a dual or multi-purpose structure as a breakwater has the advantage of sharing the construction costs and reduces the environmental impacts resulting from integrating into other infrastructure. The project aims to bring wave energy technology closer to commercial exploitation by demonstrating the integration of the Oscillating Water Columns (OWC) technology into breakwaters, at more competitive costs.