Funding supports research into wave energy

West Coast Wave Initiative at UVic receives $150,000 from province

  • Oct. 9, 2016 6:00 p.m.

The University of Victoria has reeled in funding to support research into the potential of ocean waves to generate clean, renewable and affordable electricity.

The province is providing $150,000 from the Innovative Clean Energy Fund to the West Coast Wave Initiative at UVic.

“Canada has huge wave-energy potential and British Columbia has some of the best wave resources,” said Elisa Obermann, executive director of Marine Renewables Canada. “The research and innovation the West Coast Wave Initiative is leading is critical to the development of wave technology and Canada’s marine renewable energy industry. We are pleased to see the government of British Columbia supporting this foundational work.”

The funding will be used for the purchase, deployment and maintenance of a wave measurement buoy. 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 B.C. coastline. BC Hydro has also contributed $60,000 to the WCWI to support wave measurement research.

The buoys 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. All five buoys have been built by AXYS Technologies in Sidney.

“This buoy monitoring project reflects UVic’s ongoing commitment to and research strength in clean energy initiatives and ocean observation systems,” said UVic president Jamie Cassels.

“The exciting public and private sector partnership will advance potential wave-energy technologies in B.C. and contribute to the development of new clean-energy sources for coastal communities.”

The WCWI operates and maintains the only directional wave measurement buoys on the west coast of Canada and uses advanced computer-aided design tools to research and develop technologies to convert wave-supplied power into electricity that could be fed into the electricity grid.