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Press release: Wello Penguin issues at Billia Croo

Wello Penguin WEC at EMEC Billia Croo wave test site (Credit Colin Keldie, courtesy of CEFOW)

Wello Penguin WEC at EMEC Billia Croo wave test site (Credit Colin Keldie, courtesy of CEFOW)

Wello’s Penguin wave energy converter (WEC) is no longer visible at EMEC’s Billia Croo wave test site, off the west coast of Orkney.

As part of the ongoing operational monitoring an issue was identified on Monday and following inspection it was confirmed that the device was taking on water. The device has been closely monitored over the last few days, and remains attached to its moorings at Berth 5 however is no longer visible.

As the device is no longer lit nor visible above the sea surface, all mariners should adhere to Notice to Mariners on OIC Harbours website, and keep out of the marked perimeter of the EMEC Billia Croo site.

The situation is being monitored closely by Wello, EMEC and Green Marine, and the appropriate authorities have been informed.

The prototype was initially deployed at EMEC’s Billia Croo wave test site in 2012. The fourth and latest deployment of the WEC took place in March 2017, and it recently passed the two year milestone of continuous deployment, surviving waves of over 18 m and surpassing all expectations in terms of survivability.

The very nature of EMEC being a test site means that the pioneering technologies tested here are demonstrated in harsh real-sea conditions to learn how they interact and survive. Lessons learnt on site are then used to ensure that future technologies are optimised to such conditions.

Wello are about to launch a new upgraded Penguin WEC which will be installed at the Billia Croo test site in the coming months, and learning from this incident will feed into the design, operations and maintenance plans for the future.

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