CalWave has announced it has successfully commissioned its CalWave x1™ off the coast of San Diego, marking the beginning of California’s first at-sea, long-duration wave energy pilot operating fully submerged.
The CalWave x1™ - which was commissioned on 16 September - will be tested for six months with the goal of validating the performance and reliability of the system in open ocean.
Several key partners collaborated with CalWave on this project including the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Sandia National Laboratories, DNV GL, and UC Berkeley. It was supported by a US Department of Energy award with the goal to demonstrate CalWave’s scalable and patented xWave™ technology.
“CalWave’s long-duration deployment is a novel open water demonstration of a wave energy technology with active load management features,” said Jennifer Garson, Acting Director of the Department of Energy’s Water Power Technologies Office (WPTO). “WPTO is pleased to recognize this accomplishment as a major milestone for unlocking the potential of wave energy from our oceans and providing access to clean energy for the growing blue economy in the US.”
Unlike conventional technologies that extract wave energy at the ocean surface, CalWave’s patented xWave™ architecture operates fully submerged at a range of different water depths and distances to shore, achieving high performance and unlocking the ability to be fully shut down in storm conditions. This unique approach enables several advantageous operating abilities says the company: It survives stormy seas and extreme conditions, causes no visual impact, and allows for unique control of structural loads by eliminating excessive loads during storms that drive up the cost of systems without substantially contributing to annual energy production.
Following this demonstration, CalWave plans to prepare for deployment of a larger unit at PacWave, the first commercial-scale, utility grid-connected wave energy test site in the US rated at 20MW.