News & Analysis

£1.5M secured to develop wave-powered microgrid for Thai island

9th February 2024
Sheryl Miles

Eco Wave Power Global, a publicly traded onshore wave energy company, is pleased to announce that it has won a £1.5 million grant as part of a consortium led by Toshiba (UK) and Aquatera (UK) to design a pilot microgrid project for a remote island in Thailand.

The £1.5 million grant is part of Innovate UK's Energy Catalyst programme Round 10, which supports UK and international businesses and organisations in developing market-focused technologies that provide clean, affordable, and accessible energy. 

The consortium is led by Toshiba Europe Limited,  Aquatera, and also includes Hitachi Energy, and teams from the University of Manchester, the University of Exeter, the Asian Institute of Technology, and the Queen Mary University of London. The consortium will utilise the onshore Wave Energy Converters (WECs) developed by EWP and implement advanced technology developed by the corporate partners and the university teams.

Eco Wave Power was selected by the parties as Eco Wave Power's WEC offers several competitive advantages including cost-efficiency, insurability, reliability, environmental friendliness, and a forecasted attractive levelised cost of energy for low-income residents in islands, in comparison to solar and diesel generators.

New technology to be developed as part of the project will include the development and deployment of:

  • novel and predictive control systems
  • a radar system to forecast wave heights to help avoid hazardous conditions and maximise WECs energy generation
  • a fully AI-based load and generation prediction system
  • wireless, distributed energy management system to provide electricity without expensive lithium-ion batteries

Professor Guang Li, of the University of Manchester, said: “This is a second grant from Innovate UK for the development and commercialisation of the Eco Wave Power’s technology. In our previous early-stage project, we have numerically demonstrated the efficacy of our advanced control technology that can improve the onshore WEC energy output by at least 40%. This project will enable us to continue our study in this area to further promote the technology readiness level and significantly enhance the WEC potential.”

Dr Kamyar Mehran, the project investigator from QMUL, added: "I am excited to start our second phase of this project after our successful initial feasibility study. We would like to thank Innovate UK for the generous funding, which can pave the way for the commercialisation of all novel technologies we have researched for years. I also believe with our great partners we can achieve all of our objectives in this project."

Inna Braverman, Founder and CEO of Eco Wave Power, commented: “We see this as a strong vote of confidence in Eco Wave Power and our pioneering technology and look forward to a productive collaboration with the team from Toshiba, Hitachi, Aquatera, Queen Mary University of London, University of Manchester, The Asian Institute of Technology, the University of Exeter, and the Provincial Electricity Authority of Thailand. We are extremely grateful to Innovate UK for this Grant, as this project presents a unique opportunity for us to research a new technology application for our WEC, customised for islands and other micro grid applications, which are a significant target market for Eco Wave Power.”

The Thai electrical state enterprise, the Provincial Electricity Authority (PEA), will act as the microgrid operator on the island and minimise the capital cost of electricity to provide an electricity tariff, as inexpensive as monthly mobile charges, without incurring any asset ownership and maintenance costs for residents.

Aquatera, with its close collaboration with AIT, will be active in seeking further private and public investment for similar pilot projects in Thailand's islands and even neighbouring Southeast Asian countries with excellent potential for wave energy pilots.

PEA officials said: "PEA is a leading organisation in the region, which focuses on providing efficient, reliable electricity services, related business for developing the quality of life, and sustainability of economics and society."

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