50MW wave power project planned for Ecuador

SDE Ecuador - the joint venture company formed by Israel's SDE and GEI, based in the US - may also develop smaller sea wave power plants in different sites around the Galapagos Islands.

Ecuador's government, which launched a feed-in-tariff (FIT) programme in April 2011 under which the energy produced by the sea wave power plant(s) will be sold, has offered to finance 60% of the costs involved in constructing a sea wave power plant. Under the FIT programme, the local energy authority, Consejo Nacional de Electricidad (CONELEC), will pay SDE Ecuador a fixed price of US0.4477 cents per kWh for the energy produced by the wave energy power plant(s) for a contract term of 15 years.

Reliance Partners, an independent investment bank headquartered in the US, is securing the required financing for SDE Ecuador's proposed wave power projects. "Ecuador is fast becoming a leader in the renewable sector and its commitment and policies towards clean, renewable sources of energy is unparalleled for a county of its size," said Shmuel Ovadia, SDE Energy's CEO.

"Currently, Ecuador's energy production mainly consists of hydroelectric power plants which are at risk from droughts and energy from the combustion of polluting oil. Due to high oil prices and the rising costs of electricity, sea wave energy production has emerged as a competitive, viable, and often preferred alternative for energy production. SDE is continuing to expand throughout the world and is pleased to be working in cooperation with GEI."

SDE has established 11 models of wave power plants and is currently building its 12th for a project in China.