British Columbia grants funding for wave energy research

Illustration (Photo: AXYS Technologies)

Canadian Province of British Columbia has awarded C$150,000 to the West Coast Wave Initiative (WCWI) at the University of Victoria to support research into the potential of ocean waves to generate electricity.

The funding, provided through through the Innovative Clean Energy (ICE) Fund, will be used for the purchase, deployment and maintenance of a wave measurement buoy, the Province informed.

It will be the fifth in a fleet of buoys being used by the WCWI, and will support researchers’ efforts to complete a detailed wave energy resource assessment of the entire British Columbia coastline.

BC Hydro has also contributed C$60,000 to the WCWI to support wave measurement research.

Amrik Virk, BC Minster of Technology, Innovation and Citizens’ Services, said: “Our BC coast is not only one of the province’s most beautiful resources, its waves could also be a source of clean energy, and research like this furthers our understanding of wave patterns and energy potential. With this ICE funding we can support the growth of an emerging energy sector, which would benefit our remote coastal communities and perhaps change the world.”

The buoys, all five built by AXYS Technologies, provide high-resolution measurements of coastal wave height, direction and frequency used to calibrate and assess wave energy models being developed by researchers to determine the feasibility of converting wave energy to electricity.

WCWI, created in 2007, is a multi-disciplinary group of academics and industry members committed to quantitatively determining the feasibility, impacts and possible structure of wave energy conversion on the west coast of Canada.

“This buoy monitoring project reflects UVic’s ongoing commitment to and research strength in clean energy initiatives and ocean observation systems. The exciting public and private sector partnership will advance potential wave-energy technologies in BC and contribute to the development of new clean-energy sources for coastal communities,” added Jamie Cassels, President of the University of Victoria.

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