World’s First Wave Farm
There’s power in them thar waves! That’s why Portugal built Agucadoura, the world’s first wave farm off its coast, consisting of three Wave Energy Converters generating a total of 2.25MW.
The elongated metal contraptions bob up and down with the waves, while internal pistons, attached to the sea floor, remain stationary and pump hydraulic fluid. This drives electric generators, whose power is brought ashore by underwater electrical cables. The wave farm is now tapping into enough constant, renewable energy to power 1500 homes.
Who knew there was so much power in the ocean waves? If we laid these 459-foot orange caterpillars all over the world’s oceans, we could tap 2 terawatts of power, twice the consumption of the entire world. That’s not exactly practical, but a smaller-scale rollout of such generators might be a clean power alternative, ready to be snapped up by an energy-starved planet.