Experimental Wave Power Plant

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Photo by Fotolia/robert
The proposed wave power plant would generate 4MW of electricity.

A four-megawatt wave power facility may be built on the coastline of the Isle of Lewis (in Scotland’s Outer Hebrides) if the results of a forthcoming two-year study are favorable. The power station would consist of a hollow, 80-meter-long concrete breakwater equipped with turbines, driven by air forced through vertical towers as waves break against the structure. The United Kingdom’s Department of Industry believes that such facilities could produce cost-competitive electricity at numerous island locations (including the Falklands and Fiji) by the end of the century. The environmental impact of wave-energy technology remain to be evaluated, however, and may yet prove to be the concept’s undoing.