Seabased shakes hands for 10MW wave energy plant in Tonga

Swedish wave energy company Seabased has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for the development of 10MW wave energy plant offshore the Polynesian country and archipelagic state of Tonga.

The MoU, signed between Seabased, the Kingdom of Tonga, and United Nations-recognised association representing small island developing states SIDS DOCK, sets out plans for the build-out of 10MW wave energy park that will be conducted in phases.

The initial park in Tonga will be 2MW and is projected to save the island kingdom $2 million in foreign exchange, displace 2 million liters of fuel, reduce carbon emissions by roughly 5.6 kilotons and generate enough power for 2,800 homes.

The second phase will include additional 8MW, and save $10.5 million and up to 42 million liters of fuel, with the start of operations planned in two years after signing the PPA, according to Seabased.

The plant is expected to provide half Tonga’s energy needs and cut emissions by 20%.

Albert Vaea, minister of Internal Affairs for the Government of the Kingdom of Tonga, said: “Tonga, like all SIDS, is faced with some of the highest energy costs in the world. It is our women, children and other vulnerable groups in our populations that are being affected by the impacts – including high fuel, food, water, medicinal, transportation and other costs, which none of our governments have control over.

“However, with the introduction of the deployment of renewable energy technologies, in this case the Seabased Group technology that powers the wave power parks, we have a chance to bring some meaningful and visible measure of relief to our people.”

Laurent Albert, CEO of Seabased noted that, beyond CO2-free power that is locally produced, wave energy can also be used for things like desalination of drinking water and production of green hydrogen.

Albert said: “Waves are stable and abundant all around you. They can provide power for your own island’s needs, and you can become exporters. Why not use the energy to produce green hydrogen for the ships that are going to cross your waters? You’re not going to be isolated anymore. You’re going to be an oasis at sea.”