The wave energy resource along the Northern Spanish coast is determined, for a period of 33 years (1979–2012) based on hindcast results of WAVEWATCH III for the Atlantic ocean area, coupled with the SWAN model for the coastal areas, and using surface winds from ECMWF's ERA- Interim data base. Results are validated with buoy data, in order to evaluate the model's accuracy. Statistical analysis of the wave parameters and wave power results are presented.
The analysis was carried out for a coarse grid, on the North of Spain, and for three local areas with a finer mesh: Northwest Galicia, the area between Cape San Adrián and Cape Ortegal and Santander. The case studies include a more realistic perspective of the amount of energy that can be extracted with a wave energy converter, by adopting examples of a large and a small device. A seasonal variability evaluation is done for the nested areas through the analyzes of the seasonal average wave power resource for the different locations, throughout the 33 year hindcast, and the joint distributions of significant wave height and peak period for the number of occurrences and wave power.