Ghana to be early adopter of wave power with pioneer company Seabased
Seabased has been contracted by TC’s Energy, a Ghanaian renewable energy production company, to deliver a wave energy plant near Ada, Ghana. The 100 MW park is one of the first, and one the largest, commercial contracts in the fledgling wave energy industry.
TC’s Energy is focused on developing and spreading renewable ocean energy throughout Ghana and the West African coast, which has a large population concentration. The 100 MW plant could provide all the electricity needed for tens of thousands of Ghanaian homes, year after year, from a nearly invisible wave park that produces no pollution and creates an artificial reef for marine life.
Wave power is an emerging sector in the rapidly growing renewable energy industry, and has the potential to provide more than 100% of the electricity generated globally today. Bloomberg estimates $10.2 trillion USD will be invested on new renewable generation between now and 2040 .
Waves are a stable, predictable resource; they work 24/7, all year long. Wave power is very convenient to large markets. By 2050, nearly 70 percent of all people will live in cities ; 8 out of 10 of the largest cities are coastal. This proximity to end users can eliminate the need for batteries and minimize both losses in, and costs of, transmission.
Seabased Chief Executive Officer Øivind Magnussen and TC’s Energy Chief Executive Officer Anthony Opoku met at the Ocean Energy Europe offices in Brussels on 20 March 2018 for a formal signing of the contract.
Seabased CEO Magnussen said, “This is a very exciting day for Seabased, and one both companies have been preparing for diligently for years. The necessary studies, permits and PPA are all in place, and we have the experience of a successful pilot under our belt. We feel well-prepared to step into this final phase of manufacturing and delivering the wave park.
“We are proud to be working with TC’s Energy, a pioneer in the commercial development of the fantastic wave resource in Ghana,” said Magnussen.
According to Rémi Gruet, CEO of the industry organization Ocean Energy Europe, “This deal is a world first, and a bold step towards commercialization for wave energy. We applaud the Ghanaian government’s out of the box thinking and visionary approach to electricity production. While at an early stage, ocean energy is already investigating global markets and benefiting both the EU and local economies through access to electricity, local jobs, and energy security.”
TC’s Energy, which holds a power purchase agreement for 1000 MW with Electric Company of Ghana Ltd, will own and operate the wave plant.
“This contract marks the culmination of a long process toward building Africa’s first utility scale wave park, and we hope will lead to the expansion of renewable energy across Ghana and West Africa,” said Opoku. “The commercial viability of Seabased’s mechanically simple, yet robust design appealed from the beginning. It is very well suited for the wave climate of Ghana.”
Seabased is contracted to design, manufacture, and install the turnkey wave energy park with an option for local final assembly of non-core technology as the project scales up. This would create local jobs in Ghana. Additional jobs would be created in operations and maintenance of the wave park, according to a memorandum of understanding.
Seabased wave parks produce electricity using wave energy converters (WECs), which consist of buoys connected to linear generators. The buoys move with the waves, and this motion generates power. A switchgear makes the electricity suitable for grid use.