This page describes the available wave energy available in Samoa.

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Wave Energy in Samoa

The regional analysis of the cost of wave energy (See here) concluded that Apia was not economically suitable to support a wave energy converter. But it didn’t mean that it was the case for the whole of Samoa. Wave energy is larger on the south coasts and could be suitable for wave energy (See image below). This page expands the regional wave energy analysis to the whole of Samoa to identify suitable wave energy conversion hotspots.

Finding suitable wave energy sites

Bathymetry consideration

Samoa is one of the few countries in the Pacific where the bathymetry would allow the installation of any type of wave energy converters. Wave energy converters can be divided in these three categories: Offshorwe, Nearshore and onshore devices.

Benchmark device

Wave energy converters come with different cost and efficiency. The cost of operation and maintenance and on the environment can also vary greatly and it can be very hard to decide whether Samoa would benefit more from one type of device at a location or another device elsewhere. It is impossible to compare the cost and efficiency of all the wave energy converters because they are not all at the same stage of development. For example, some devices only have a theoretical efficiency while other more advance wave energy converters have a measured (i.e. verified) efficiency. In order to help with decision on what device would be more suitable for Samoa, we calculate the cost of energy generation of one wave energy converter, the Pelamis.

From the many wave energy devices developed globally, the Pelamis wave energy converter is one of only two to have reached commercial readiness. Although Pelamis Wave Power Ltd, the firm behind the device, went into administration at the time of writing this report, the milestones reached and the research behind the Pelamis device are unprecedented and unmatched by any other device. Because of the large amount of literature on the Pelamis, it is still a benchmark and, although it is unlikely that more Pelamis devices will ever be built (at least under the same name), the device’s physical characteristics and cost evaluation can be used to probe the economic feasibility of wave energy.

Pelamis costs

Cost Type Cost range
Operation and Maintenance US$ 1.23 - 6.80 million
Total US$ 6.32 - 14.10 million

Wave Power and energy cost for pre-selected sites

Site name Mean available wave power (kW/m) Annual Pelamis power output (MWh) OM cost range (USD/MWh) Total cost range (USD/MWh)
Offshore wave buoy site 3 31.9 1008 48 - 270 251 - 560
Offshore wave buoy site 2 24.5 722 67 - 376 350 - 781
Offshore wave buoy site 1 19.3 542 90 - 502 466 - 1041
Mulinu'u 21.6 521 94 - 522 485 - 1083
Apolima Strait 18.8 520 94 - 523 486 - 1085
Satupa 21.6 462 106 - 589 548 - 1222
Poutas 17.9 386 127 - 705 655 - 1462
Laloma 15.5 340 145 - 800 743 - 1658
Safato 14.5 276 178 - 986 916 - 2045
Aganoa 12.4 166 296 - 1639 1523 - 3399

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