CorPower secures €7.3m investment into Portuguese wave project
Portuguese authorities have joined the Swedish Energy Agency, EIT InnoEnergy and private investors to support CorPower’s flagship HiWave-5 demonstration project in northern Portugal.
The investment supported by the European Union is provided through the NORTE 2020 Program operated by aicep Portugal Global (Portuguese Trade & Investment Agency) and CCDR-N (Norte Portugal Regional Coordination and Development Commission). It forms part of the HiWave-5 demonstration project aimed at bringing CorPower’s wave technology to a bankable product offering by 2024, by proving the survivability, performance and economics of a grid-connected array of Wave Energy Converters. It is designed to unlock mainstream renewable project financing for subsequent commercial array projects developed by our customers.
The investment will further build a world-class wave energy base in Viana do Castelo, northern Portugal, including R&D, Manufacturing & Servicing facilities. Proceeds will be used to demonstrate the first commercial scale WEC within CorPower’s flagship HiWave-5 project - and for the long-term development of supply and service capacity for commercial wave energy farms.
CorPower Ocean CEO Patrik Möller said the funding decision reaffirms Portugal’s commitment to the ocean energy sector. “We are pleased to announce this positive development which will allow us to further ramp up operations in Portugal,” he said. “We are gaining strong momentum with our new R&D Centre nearing completion and a fast-expanding team. While Portugal offers ideal natural conditions for the demonstration project it also crucially shares our passion and vision for ocean energy. There is firm political will to maintain its position as a leader in clean energy, which is reflected in this recent investment in CorPower. Our work is well aligned with the Portuguese Industrial Strategy for Ocean Renewable Energies, which aims to create a competitive and innovative industrial export cluster. Together we will continue working closely to attract the attention of global utilities and project developers through next generation wave energy.”
CorPower Ocean Country Manager Miguel Silva said: “We’ve made great strides in recent months building our infrastructure and team, and we’re entering 2021 in a strong position. This year will be pivotal as we begin the Hi-Wave 5 demonstration, addressing fundamental challenges which have hampered wave energy in the past – most notably storm survivability and the cost to energy ratio. We have an important message to deliver that wave energy is reaching maturity with the capability to compete with established renewable energy sources in the next decade. However, its reliability and broader role as a balancing source is perhaps most compelling, offsetting the intermittency of wind and solar. In this respect we see massive potential in the future of combined wind, wave and solar arrays.”
AICEP Member of the Board Madalena Oliveira e Silva said: “It is with great satisfaction that we welcome CorPower in Portugal. Portugal has been able to attract investment from international companies with innovative projects thanks to its competitive advantages, with emphasis on talent. CorPower’s HiWave-5 Project, in Viana do Castelo, a global 16.3 MEUR investment, is a firm step to consolidate Portugal in the world vanguard of innovation and alternative energies, namely in ocean energy. Its potential for the country is enormous, given the length of the Portuguese coast, and will certainly contribute towards the goal of making the Portuguese economy greener. During these challenging times of COVID-19, it’s even a greater pleasure to see that companies from all over the world continue to trust in Portugal for their R&D and leading projects. Thank you CorPower and welcome to Portugal!”
António M. Cunha, President of CCDR-N and Management Authority of NORTE 2020 OP said: Projects of this kind are vital for investment in our Region. Through CorPower, more specifically HiWave Project, it will be possible to highlight the role of the Norte at the forefront and innovation in terms of alternative energies. It is even more gratifying to realize that this project had the support of the European Union through the NORTE 2020 Program, in about seven million Euros. The coming years will be crucial in the application of the “clean energies”, which will allow the bet on a greener economy. This challenge is even more important when we find ourselves in a country where the sea represents an essential element of the economy, society and even culture. With 144 kilometers of coastline, Norte Region is, without any doubt, the best place for a project of this type!”
Mikel Lasa, CEO of EIT InnoEnergy Iberia said: “As an early investor in flagship projects with the potential to open new markets, EIT InnoEnergy has supported Corpower since 2012, and is thrilled to see this development in Portugal. Our regional team was able to mobilise and strengthen the Portuguese ecosystem around the project, benefiting Corpower in the consolidation of relationships with regional stakeholders.”