Spanish wave firm bags Horizon 2020 funding

Trials on a 1:10 scale wave energy device (Photo: Arrecife Energy Systems)

Bilbao-based developer Arrecife Energy Systems has received a financial boost through EU’s Horizon 2020 funding program to further advance its wave energy technology.

The company has been selected to receive €50,000 of funding support through Horizon 2020’s SME Instrument established to help small and medium-sized companies.

The grant is part of the recently announced funding award of €9.65 million to be distributed between 193 innovative businesses as part of the phase 1 of the funding program which supports feasibility studies and provides business coaching for the selected companies.

Óscar Villanueva, Arrecife Energy Systems’ Chief Operating Officer, said: “In order to obtain funding it is a must to submit a project that shows robustness and clear opportunities in terms of internal growth or business. When the EU decides to award €50.000 to Arrecife, the panel of experts is not only supporting the potential of our technology but also recommending to invest in it, and that is a remarkable achievement for us.”

Villanueva added the next step for the company will be to submit the application for the phase 2 of the SME Instrument. Should the application go forward, the start-up could be given between €500,000 and €2.5 million to advance its innovation.

Arrecife Energy Systems is developing a device that simulates the natural behavior of coral reefs and their efficiency in absorbing wave energy.

The device features cross flow turbines, composed of multiple blades placed in series, in order to maximize the energy absorption of waves by simulating a coral reef.

The technology is currently at the technology readiness level (TRL) 6, which means the device has been demonstrated in relevant environment.

To remind, Arrecife Energy Systems conducted tests off Spanish coast earlier this year on a 1:10 scale version of the device.

The focus of the trials was on the mechanical aspects of the device – including the moorings, immersion system and general behavior at open sea conditions.

Following the conclusion of the trials, the company unveiled plans to build and test larger device next year either at either at the Biscay Marine Energy Platform (Bimep) or at the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC), depending on the future agreements.

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