A 10 MW wave power demonstration project by a consortium that includes generation major Fortum and located on the west coast of Sweden is set to go ahead following a commitment to financially support it from the Swedish Energy Agency.

The Swedish Energy Agency has given the Lysekil project priority status in the government’s three-year, SEK875 million energy technology programme, which aims to support the development and commercialisation of clean energy technologies with a high export potential.

Fortum Sweden, Seabased and Uppsala University say that the demonstration project will cost around EUR25 million. The partners have been testing Seabased’s wave energy converter technology at the Lysekil site since 2006.

“We’re delighted that the wave power project is among the prioritised projects,” said Christian Lundberg, President, Fortum Sweden. “The experiences so far have led us to believe that changeover from testing stage to a fully functional energy production plant is possible.”

Seabased’s technology consists of a directly-driven permanent magnet linear generator anchored to the seabed and connected by a line to a buoy. The movement of the buoy transfers the movement of the waves to the generator, which is optimised for high power output even at slow speeds.

“Development of the Seabased technology has been impressive and the Swedish Energy Agency has decided that a larger demonstration plant is one of the prioritised projects for government support from the SEK875 million that the Swedish government has set aside for a special programme for three years,” said Tomas Käberger, Director General of the Swedish Energy Agency.

A total of 39 projects applied for funding from the programme earlier this year and only five have been given priority status. A 10 MW-scale project would require around 500 of Seabased’s wave converter units, according to Fortum.

Seabased, Fortum and Uppsala University started construction of the Lysekil test facility in 2004.