CalWave to Provide Wave Energy Tech for British Columbia Project

CalWave's x1 prototype (Credit: CalWave)
CalWave's x1 prototype (Credit: CalWave)
CalWave's x1 prototype (Credit: CalWave)
CalWave's x1 prototype (Credit: CalWave)
CalWave's x1 prototype (Credit: CalWave)
CalWave's x1 prototype (Credit: CalWave)

CalWave, a California-based wave energy technology developer, has been selected as the technology provider for a wave energy project at Yuquot in British Columbia, with the Mowachaht/Muchalaht First Nation (MMFN).

As a ‘first-of-a-kind’ (FOAK) wave energy project for coastal community microgrids, the MMFN project may serve as a blueprint for coastal communities along the North American Pacific Coast and around the world.

The project is currently in a feasibility and design phase to gather all the necessary information for the MMFN to make an informed decision on full project buildout.

Located on Nootka Island, just off the west coast of Vancouver Island, Yuquot is the traditional home of the MMFN.

It was also the site of first contact between European explorers and Indigenous peoples on the west coast of North America, when Captain James Cook moored his ship in Nootka Sound in 1778.

The community existed for thousands of years as a center of fish and fur trading until the late-20th century, when almost all residents were forced to relocate to Vancouver Island.

Now, the MMFN is working to reclaim their land, rebuild their community, and harness the energetic North Pacific waves to help power their new microgrid and establish energy independence.

The Indigenous-led project is so far funded by a grant from TD Bank Group and the Clean Energy in Rural and Remote Communities Program within Natural Resources Canada.

It comprises a consortium of other partners based across Canada, including the Pacific Research Institute for Marine Energy Discovery (PRIMED) at the University of Victoria, Barkley Project Group, Canpac Marine Services, and Environmental Dynamics.

“This village was a trade hub, a place of great wealth sought after by our European visitors. Moving forward we want to establish Yuquot as a center once more, now in the context of setting examples for innovation in community building and clean energy development,” said Azar Kamran, CEO of the MMFN.

CalWave has developed wave energy technology that operates fully submerged without visual impact, and features novel geometry control mechanism, which allow the geometry of the absorber body to change in order to harness waves in all sea states.

The company has already tested its x1 prototype in real sea conditions, offshore California, concluding the wave energy pilot after 10 months with 99% uptime.

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