Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


"The construction of the Pico plant was an important step in the development of wave power technology. It was the outcome of the joint effort from research institutions (including universities), industrial companies and utilities. Although it is a R&D facility, the plant equipment was designed and/or specified as for an industrial unit, with 25 years specified as the life-span for the major items of mechanical and electrical equipment. The plant is fully automated and will be connected to the island�s grid on a permanent basis.
At the time of writing this report, the plant had not yet started operation. This was due to an accident which occurred in September 1998 and delayed start up, as reported above in section 5.2. For this reason not many comments can be made at this time about actual plant performance.
Building a plant in a small and remote island is a typical application of renewable energy technology. The relatively high unit-costs of electrical energy from existing conventional plants enhances the competitiveness of renewable energies in general, and wave energy in particular.
On the other hand, the remoteness of the site introduced additional constructional problems, not all of which had been fully foreseen at the beginning of the project. This was the case of considerably higher costs of civil construction, and the vulnerability to delays whenever constructional or erection problems required materials, equipment and spare parts to be shipped from the main land. This was aggravated by the limited number of months yearly when construction work can be performed in a very exposed site.
The particular site in the island was found to be a good choice from the view points of wave energy resource (good exposition and natural concentration of energy) and access by land. In spite of the easy access, the in-situ construction of the structure was found to be costly and difficult, and is to be avoided if alternative solutions are available (this depends on the ava

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