Iberdrola is to increase its role in the development and commercialisation of renewable energy technologies by investing in a wave energy project through a new equity investment business unit.

The Spanish utility has joined forces with technology firm Tecnalia Corporación Tecnológica to develop Oceantec, a EUR4.5 million project designed to help bring marine energy technology to commercialization. The project will also boost industrial development in Spain’s Basque Country, says Iberdrola.

Iberdrola will invest and participate in Oceantec through Perseo, its new equity investment company tasked with intensifying Iberdrola’s role in new technology development. The companies envisage building and testing the Oceantec device in 2009.

Perseo has an annual budget of EUR6 million and will identify and support high-tech projects in the renewable energy field. One of its main focuses will be in marine energy, where Iberdrola is already active through projects in Scotland and Spain.

Tecnalia, a Spanish multi-disciplinary technology company, is developing a wave energy device as part of Spain’s Special Strategic Marine Energy Project, a government-funded initiative aiming to position Spain as a world leader in the marine energy sector.