Wave Power to Prove Its Mettle with 30 Megawatts to be Built Off Mexico's Coast

Flickr/CC BY-SA 2.0

Alt-Energy Cousin

Wave power is the oft-forgotten cousin of solar and wind power. It has huge potential, but it is not quite as far along as the better known sources of clean power, so it tends to be overlooked. But it shouldn't! To clean up our power grid we'll need all the help we can get. Granted, in many places where wave power would work, offshore wind power would also work, but that might not be the case everywhere (ie. very deep water), and if wave power's cost can be brought down enough, that might not even matter.

Flickr/CC BY 2.0

There might not be much wave power deployed so far, but you have to start somewhere! Maremotrices de Energias Renovables, also known as Marersa, plans to start building wave power farms with a capacity of 30 megawatts.

Marersa, based in Mexico City, will install about 450 floating buoys that harness the movement of waves to create hydraulic pressure which is converted into electricity, Markivich said. It has pledged to sell the energy at 20 percent lower prices than electricity bought from state power utility Comision Federal de Electricidad.

“We have the cheapest renewable energy in Mexico,” Diego Carrion, sales and business manager for Marersa, said in a telephone interview. “Wind farms may be able to offer between a 10 and 12 percent discount” on grid electricity.

The first project should be built in February 2013 off the coast of Baja California state, Mexico.

Hopefully this helps show that wave power is a real contender! And even if it turns out that these projects show that wave power is not competitive, not reliable, or whatever, well, that's also good to know so we can concentrate our resources on what works better. Either way, I'm curious to see how this will turn out.

© OPT

Above is a photo of a buoy by Ocean Power Technologies. I'm not sure what Marersa's buoys will look like, but chances are they'll be similar, unless they go with the snake/caterpillar design.

Via Bloomberg

See also: How Fast Could You Travel Across the USA in the 1800s? (Check Out These Old Maps)

Tags: Energy | Wave Power

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