Elisabetta Tedeschi, Jonas Sjolte, Marta Molinas, and Maider Santos – Energies, May 2013
The future success of wave energy in the renewable energy mix depends on the technical advancements of the specific components and systems, on the grid access availability and, ultimately, on the economical profitability of the investment. Small and remote islands represent an ideal framework for wave energy exploitation, due both to resource availability and to the current high cost of electricity that mostly relies on diesel generation. Energy storage can be the enabling technology to match the intermittent power generation from waves to the energy needs of the local community. In this paper real data from La Palma, in the Canary Islands, are used as a basis for the considered test case. As a first step the study quantifies the expected power production from Wave Energy Converter (WEC) arrays, based on data from the Lifesaver point absorber developed by Fred Olsen. Then, a stochastic optimization approach is applied to evaluate the convenience of energy storage introduction for reducing the final cost of energy and to define the corresponding optimal rating of the storage devices.