Fortum has acquired a minority share of 13.6 per cent in the Finnish wave energy developer Wello Oy. The value of the transaction was not disclosed.

Wello is developing the Penguin wave energy converter solution, which is based on a floating vessel that captures the kinetic energy of waves and converts it into electrical power with a generator.

Fortum sees a move towards a solar economy where energy production is based on renewable energy sources. Wave power, can play an important role in such a future, the company says, and it is therefore one of Fortum’s research and development focus areas.

"We want to be in the vanguard of the development, so participating in the development of various wave power technologies is important," commented Heli Antila, Fortum’s chief technology officer.

For Wello, collaboration is the ‘natural step’ as the company moves from technology development to the commercial piloting phase.

"This is an excellent example of a small company partnering with a big company, which can significantly speed up the development of new technology into a commercial product," said Wello’s CEO Aki Luukkainen.

Earlier this year Fortum signed a leasing agreement with the UK-based Wave Hub in order to test wave power solutions off the coast of Cornwall, in South West England.