Ocean Power Technologies has agreed to build what it claims will be Europe's first commercial wave plant off the cost of Spain, which will provide 1.25MW of electricity starting from next year.

The plant is being built by the UK-based wave power technology company for a company majority-owned by Spain’s Iberdrola. The French oil giant Total will also hold a stake.

Although the plant will not generate a lot of electricity on its own, the scheme’s backers are hoping to build more in the area. Although wave power is more expensive than wind, the power output is more predictable and Ocean Power believes that it will benefit from economies of scale.

Chief executive of Ocean Power Technologies George Taylor said: We expect within three to five years to have prices that are equal and possibly below those of wind power.

Ocean Power is also involved in a scheme to build a plant off the coast of Cornwall in the UK and has filed for a permit for a 50MW plant in Oregon in the US.