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Challenges 3 December, 2021 Public Procurement for Innovation (PPI)

Wave energy challenge – TurboWave project

PRELIMINARY MARKET CONSULTATION. The TurboWave Public Procurement of Innovation action aims to accelerate the development of air turbine technologies that are tailored to the needs of the wave power industry in general and the specific technical requirements of the Mutriku plant.

The Mutriku wave power plant is the first commercial plant in Europe to use wave energy to generate electricity. It is located inside the breakwater that protects its port, in the Bay of Biscay, and the Oscillating Water Column (OWC) is the technology used for the energy conversion.

The current turbines are of the Wells fixed pitch type, which makes them very robust and simple. The symmetrical design of the blades ensures that, regardless of the direction of the air flow through the turbine, it always rotates in the same direction. The turbines have a double rotor with a diameter of 750 mm and a butterfly valve that is used both for regulation and as a safety element. The plant has 16 turbines of this type with a total power of 296 kW.

With this background information in mind, the TurboWave Public Procurement of Innovation aims to accelerate the development of air turbine technologies that are adapted to the needs of the wave energy sector in general and to the specific technical requirements of the Mutriku plant in particular.

The main technical challenges to be addressed in the technology development phases can be expressed in terms of:

    • Performance: Obtaining quantitative evidence (numerical and experimental) of adequate power conversion capacity.
    • Controllability: Demonstrating that the turbine has the necessary features and elements to allow an optimal energy capture and conversion over a wide range of operating states.
    • Reliability: Demonstrating adequate levels of availability through a robust and safe prototype operation in real working conditions.
    • Maintainability: Demonstrating that preventive or corrective maintenance, including modification, adjustment, repair or replacement, can be performed with reasonable measures and incurring minimal system downtime.
    • Affordability: Offering attractive technology costs (capital and operational) to fuel the final acquisition process.


The TurboWave project expects to have air turbine prototypes installed and fully operational at the Mutriku wave power plant for a significant period (around 12 months) to demonstrate the desired feature indicated above.

The TurboWave project is expected to progress through 4phases. These are currently identified as:
• Phase 1: Concept development.
• Phase 2: Design refinement and laboratory testing.
• Phase 3: Detailed design, manufacturing and on-site tests at Mutriku wave power plant.
• Phase 4: Procurement of a minimum of 2 and a maximum of 8 turbines.


Language: Spanish, Basque and English.
Deadline for the submission of proposals to the PMC: 60 days from publication of the PMC.
TRL at start and expected at completion: Companies will be able to submit innovative proposals starting from TRL-1, expecting the Basque Energy Agency (EVE) to go up to TRL-8.

For any technical queries about the TurboWave challenge, send an e-mail to

Preliminary market consultation questionnaire

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