#109 Wave Power Plant in the Bay of Biscay

Wow! We were exposed to such forceful, deep and reverberant sounds and vibrations inside the Mutriku Breakwater Wave Plant when the waves hit the walls!

Jon Lekube, project manager of BiMEP that is responsible for the power plant, let us have a quick look inside the 296 kW plant where we were facing some of the 16 air chambers each of which houses a turbine weighing 1,200 kg. “Since it is low tide, the waves are small at the moment”, our pioneer said. Still we had to be ready to run out of the building at the right time in order to avoid getting too wet. Another day filled with awe and excitement!

Global potential of oceanic wave energy is estimated at 1.8TW but is largely untapped. The Mutriku plant, located in the bay of Biscay in Basque Country, is expected to spur similar developments across the world to tap this energy.

Using water column technology, the Mutriku plant generates enough energy to power 250 households and produces 600,000 kWh of electricity per year which result in annual savings of 600 ton of carbon emissions. The project of the Mutriku Breakwater Wave Power Plant won the ‘Outstanding International Achievement in Green Energy’ award from the Scottish Council for Development and Industry.