Pelamis, the company that built the three wave power generators installed off the coast of Ecuador, has been unable to redeploy them after they were brought onshore for maintenance.
The sea snakes are owned mostly by an investment firm that is responsible for the upkeep of the devices. But that firm is now low on cash and looking to sell off some of their assets. So the wave power plants have remained on shore since November with no redeploy date in site.
The power plants were originally hoped to produce 750 MW a piece, but never produced much more than 200 MW. Add that to occasional problems with buoyancy and we can see that this truly is a pilot project.
Pelamis still is very much at the forefront of wave power technology, but the technological hurdles are quite large. Dealing with marine conditions and vastly changing weather patterns has made it difficult to keep wave power units operating. Indeed, the 72 foot-tall AquaBuOY was lost at sea about a year ago.
Wave and tidal power remain fledgling industries. But with the amount of power out there to capture, we certainly won't be surprised when people keep on trying.
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