Picture of the Vestmannasund strait in the North West part of the Faroe Islands. Photo: Warren Cardwell

Faroe Islands – tidal energy to reach 100% renewable by 2030

In November 2018, Minesto signed a collaboration agreement with the main power generator and distributor on the Faroe Islands, SEV, for two installations of Minesto’s DG100 model. The agreement also includes a power purchase agreement through which SEV commits to purchase the electricity generated by Minesto’s tidal energy converters.

The collaboration agreement between Minesto and SEV covers the installation, commissioning and operation of two grid-connected units of Minesto’s DG100 model, part of the company’s unique subsea kite technology called Deep Green. Through a power purchase agreement SEV commits to buy the electricity generated by the tidal energy converters. SEV will also provide required infrastructure such as grid connection and resources for consenting processes.

Click on the image above to download a high-resolution version of the graphic.

Vestmannasund site

The project site is in Vestmannasund, a strait in the North West part of Faroe Islands. 

Following the installation of project infrastructure, including the foundation, export cable and onshore control station, Minesto installed and commenced commissioning activities of its first 100kW DG100 tidal kite system in October 2020. In December 2020, Minesto announced that the DG100 kite system had delivered the first tidal energy to the Faroese grid, as part of the ongoing commissioning work.

Substantial opportunity to add tidal energy capacity

The collaboration is the first phase of a long-term ambition to add further tidal energy capacity by Minesto’s Deep Green technology to the Faroe Island’s energy mix, which is estimated to approximately 30–70MW installed capacity. The Faroe Islands have set a goal of producing their entire electricity need from renewable energy sources by 2030, including transport and heating.

Commenting on the signed agreement in November 2018, Minesto's CEO Dr Martin Edlund said: “SEV is an advanced customer with a pioneering energy transition agenda and a world-class tidal energy resource. With Minesto’s technology, they can add a predictable and affordable source of clean energy with the potential to play a significant role in Faroes Islands’ transition to 100 percent renewable energy by 2030”.

Minesto’s technology can play a significant role in Faroes Islands’ transition to 100 percent renewable energy by 2030

Hákun Djurhuus, CEO of SEV said: “As a remote island society, we don’t have the option of buying electricity from neighbouring countries. We need to create the opportunities for a sustainable future ourselves. Therefore, we are in continuous process of revising our road map to 100 percent clean energy. For the last year, we have carried out tidal stream measurements, as tidal energy at the right cost level can be one important piece of the puzzle, and we are looking forward to exploring that opportunity further together with Minesto and their innovative technology for converting tidal stream energy to clean electricity”.

The Deep Green Island Mode Project

In June 2019, Minesto was awarded a €2.5 million grant from the European Commission’s SME Instrument programme. The awarded funding will support the installation of Minesto’s technology in the Faroe Islands together with the utility company SEV. The aim of the project, called Deep Green Island Mode (DGIM), is to install Minesto's first two commercially viable microgrid units in a production and customer environment. 

Successful demonstration of DGIM will act as a first step to developing commercial ties with utilities across Europe, both for smaller-scale microgrid systems and as a catalyst for the market up take of larger utility-scale Deep Green systems.

DGIM Project background

15 million Europeans live on Europe’s 2,400 inhabited islands, at an average of approximately 1,500 households per island. As recognised by the European Commission, island energy is expensive, polluting, inefficient and dependent on external supply, with significant negative impacts on emissions, the competitiveness of businesses, and the economy.

Existing renewable alternatives are often unsuitable for these communities, such as wind and solar power, as the energy they generate is unpredictable and intermittent, making it difficult to rely on. Conventional tidal energy technology is also often unsuitable, as it requires strong tidal flows (over 2.5m/s) which only occur in a few specific hot spots around the world.

Against this background, Minesto is currently developing DGIM, a stand-alone tidal and ocean current energy converter for off-grid applications. It is based on Minesto’s patented concept of flying an underwater kite, that when steered in an eight-shaped trajectory, generates a speed several times the speed of the actual current.

By doing so, DGIM enables a cost-efficient way to offer clean, predictable electricity generation to island communities and other remote users.

Swedish Energy Agency

This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 872404 and from the Swedish Energy Agency under the programme Marine Energy Conversion – Phase 2.