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Wave riders
Wave riders
Later this year, off the coast of northern Portugal, three energy converters that look like giant sea snakes will start to produce electricity from the rough waves of the Atlantic Ocean. The wave-induced movement of these semi-submerged cylinders pumps high-pressure fluid through hydraulic motors, which in turn drive electrical generators. A cable takes that electricity to an onshore utility, where it is plugged into the power grid. The project, which is billing itself as the world's first multi-unit wave farm, is a venture between Pelamis Wave Power, an Edinburgh startup, and U.S. energy company EnerSys.
-- Peter Gumbel

NEXT: A mighty wind
Last updated April 21 2008: 9:03 AM ET