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AW-Energy is a pioneer in the green economy and is the global leader in wave energy technology. Its flagship product, WaveRoller®, is a submerged wave energy converter based on a hinged panel that is attached to the sea bed in the near shore area.
Helsingfors, Uusimaa, Finland
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AW-Energy has refloated its first commercial-scale WaveRoller wave energy device after two years of operation on the seabed offshore Portugal.
The 350kW WaveRoller unit has been towed to the port for its first inspection, after spending two years submerged 820 metres offshore Peniche, a seaside municipality in Portugal.
AW-Energy Oy, the world-leading Finnish wave energy technology developer, has taken another major step towards commercialising its WaveRoller® device. Today it announced the approval of the Patent Application in the EU (GB2565927A) for its new innovation of an arrangement and method in a wave energy recovery system. This brings the total number of approved patents held by the company to 70.
The patent provides AW-Energy with broad IP protection of its latest generation WaveRoller® device including a range of operating improvements made to the device’s system and infrastructure, particularly on failsafe operating improvements to protect against extreme weather conditions.
Christopher Ridgewell, CEO of AW-Energy, says: “finding new solutions is essential to protect our societies from the impacts of climate change. We’re working hard to meet these challenges and I am very proud of the innovative team at AW-Energy. We’ve listened carefully to our customers and developed new solutions that enable our customers to harness their unlimited wave energy resource both safely and reliably.”
WaveRoller® is increasingly being favoured as a ‘plug-in’ solution to harness the energy which can be extracted from wave power. AW-Energy is among the top few technology providers whose level of development meets the requirements of commercial energy projects such as ongoing installations in Portugal, Ireland, France, UK, Chile, in South East Asia and the US. Certification by DNVGL and Lloyd’s Register, has qualified the technology to mitigate risks and is making the technology bankable for large utility customers in US as well as across Europe and Asia.
This latest patent approval comes on the back of increasing advancements in the FOAK device. The EU patent approval adds further credibility to the established patent awarded by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). The company has a portfolio of 70 awarded patents plus more than 10 patents pending, covering technologies and different countries.
AW-Energy, a wave energy technology developer based in Finland, is seeking investors to support the company’s next phase of commercialising its technology.
The company seeks a around EUR 15m, CEO Christopher Ridgewell said. The sum is not fixed since depending on the amount raised it can focus on one project or embark on a more aggressive global roll-out working on several projects simultaneously. The new financing will be used to back its first commercial project deliveries, which are schedule for 2021.
AW-Energy is looking for both financial and strategic investors, with strategic investors bringing commercial benefits such as manufacturing capabilities. Ridgewell stated they plan to have an extended investor base in place in about six months.
So far the company has raised around 50 MEUR and the existing investors will remain after the capital raise. Current investors, including Aura Capital, Finnish energy company Fortum, Finnish innovation fund Sitra and family offices, have helped the company reach current milestones however AW-Energy has now reached a stage whereby it “needs broader shoulders” to continue to grow, he said.
AW-Energy aims to be the market leader in near-shore wave energy, with an target to be for the wave industry what Danish wind turbine manufacturer Vestas is for the wind industry, he added.
Wave energy is a huge, untapped market and the ocean is the world's largest solar battery. Wave energy is constant and predictable, whereas both solar and wind energy have down periods during off-peak times, which means costly energy storage solutions and/or needing a diesel-back up. Ridgewell stated that implementation of wave energy can support further deployment of wind and solar by becoming the "third leg" for the electricity grid to stand on.
Wave energy has enormous potential across the globe, including in the US, France, Portugal, Australia, Chile, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, South Africa and Japan, Ridgewell said.
AW-Energy’s flagship product WaveRoller® is a submerged wave energy converter based on a hinged panel that is attached to the seabed in the near-shore area. The WaveRoller generates electricity from the movement of the waves and is connected to the electric grid onshore. WaveRoller is the first marine energy technology to have been qualified by certification by Lloyd’s Register, and it has been verified by DNV-GL, a provider of technical assurance to the maritime, oil and gas, and energy industries.
With many governments increasing their support for renewable technologies, including as part of the response to the pandemic situation, the potential for wave energy is growing.
AW-Energy employs 8 in-house staff and is based in Vaanta, Finland. Finnish Inventor Rauno Koivusaari installed the first proof-of-concept panel prototypes in 1999, and the company was established in 2002.