25 October 2007 – Fortum has acquired an 8.4 per cent share in AW-Energy, a Finnish wave energy technology company. The investment is part Fortum’s strategy to participate in the research and development of new climate-benign energy production technologies.
AW-Energy’s innovation, WaveRoller, is a patented product design for the generation of electricity from ocean waves. Unlike most wave energy solutions that utilize the movement of the ocean surface to create electricity, WaveRoller harnesses near-shore bottom waves. The benefits of bottom wave technology compared to other wave energy devices include high storm-resisting power, no visual impact and practically no noise generation.
Founded in 2002, AW-Energy is now testing the WaveRoller in Peniche, Portugal, with a 10 kW unit. However, the goal is to implement a 1 MW pilot plant supplying electricity to the grid in Portugal over the course of 2008 to 2009.
Fortum is involved in several R&D projects aiming at furthering sustainable power generation. These R&D programmes include clean coal and gas technologies, new bioenergy technologies, as well as future production technologies of which this investment in wave energy is a concrete example.