Fortum has acquired a minority share of 13.6 per cent in the Finnish wave energy developer Wello Oy. The Penguin wave energy converter solution, developed by Wello, is based on a floating vessel that captures the kinetic energy of waves and converts it into electrical power with a generator. The advantage of the floating vessel is reduced need for massive anchoring.
In Fortum’s view, we are moving towards a solar economy where energy production is based on renewable energy sources and resources are used more efficiently than today. As an emissions-free energy production form, wave power can play an important role in such a future, and that’s why it is also one of Fortum’s research and development focus areas.
We want to be in the vanguard of the development, so participating in the development of various wave power technologies is important,” says Heli Antila, Fortum's Chief Technology Officer. ”The operating principle of Wello’s technology and how it combines new innovations with existing technologies is especially interesting.”
Wello’s CEO Aki Luukkainen views the collaboration with Fortum as a natural step as Wello moves from technology development to the commercial piloting phase. ”This is an excellent example of a small company partnering with a big company, which can significantly speed up the development of new technology into a commercial product. Together Wello and Fortum can take a significant step in this evolving sector.”
Heli Antila, Chief Technology Officer, Fortum, tel. +358 40 571 7188
Aki Luukkainen, Chief Executive Officer, Wello, tel. +358 40 517 8387
Information on Fortum's wave power development:
Fortum has been actively involved in wave energy development since 2007 and has
participated in the development of several technologies. One of these is the
Finnish AW-Energy’s WaveRoller™ technology, which has been successfully tested
off the coast of Portugal. Last year, Fortum also signed a cooperation
agreement with the French marine technology company DCNS to further test and
develop AW-Energy’s technology off the coast of Bretagne, France.
In Sweden, Fortum and Seabased AB are currently cooperating around a
10-megawatt wave power park on the west coast of Sweden, in Sotenäs. It is one
of the world’s largest wave-power demonstration projects and will start
production during 2014. The technology of choice in Sweden is Seabased's linear
wave power generator that is placed on the bottom of the sea.
In February 2014, Fortum signed a leasing agreement with the UK-based Wave Hub in order to test wave power solutions off the coast of Cornwall. The agreement provides Fortum with a new opportunity to rapidly deploy advanced, full-scale wave power converters in ocean conditions. The wave power solution that Fortum is currently evaluating to be deployed at the site is Wello's ‘Penguin’.
Fortum’s purpose is to create energy that improves life for present and future generations. Catering to the versatile needs of our customers, we generate, distribute and sell electricity and heat, and offer related expert services. Our operations focus on the Nordic and Baltic countries, Russia and Poland. In 2013, Fortum’s sales totalled EUR 6.1 billion and comparable operating profit was EUR 1.6 billion. We employ approximately 8,800 people. Fortum’s shares are traded on the NASDAQ OMX Helsinki. www.fortum.com
Wello Oy is a Finnish developer of wave power technology. The company was established by Heikki Paakkinen in 2008 with the help of business angel Martin Estlander. The venture capital firm VNT Management Oy and Finnvera decided on the initial investment in the company in 2009. Tekes – the Finnish Funding Agency for Innovation has also been a strong supporter of the company.