The Wave

The Project

The Wave, opened to the public in October 2019, is an inland surf destination on the outskirts of Bristol. Its 200m surfing lake, which is the same size as six football pitches, generates waves every eight to ten seconds, with up to 1,000 waves every hour.

Sustainable operation is at the heart of The Wave. From the outset – under its ‘3-Wave approach,’ – its owners sought to consider the environmental, social and financial impact and outcomes of any decision made in the construction and operation of the site.

Operating The Wave and its vast ‘wave-making modules’ requires a lot of power each year. For obvious reasons, managing energy use – and doing this in the most sustainable and efficient way possible – has always been a key challenge for The Wave’s owners.

Customer:The Wave, UK
Financing:40 Energy efficient ‘wave-making modules’
  • Groundbreaking technology replicates the exact way that water moves in ocean ground swells.
  • Significantly reduced energy consumption, carbon emissions and operational cost savings.
  • Reduced acoustic impacts.

The Technology

The Wave is the first surf experience in England to use patented Wavegarden Cove technology – the most energy efficient system of its kind. Powered by renewable energy, the system uses 40 energy efficient electric motors to move mechanical paddles to produce perfect waves. As it is the first wave that requires such large use of energy – the beauty of the technology used is that energy is constantly passed into the wave which means there is minimum energy loss.

Energy finance solution

The Wave sought the expertise of specialist energy finance company Capitas Finance, based on their reputation – having heard of their work with the Eden Project – to help them find a financial solution that would support their ambitious sustainability agenda.

As a company whose entire focus is on helping private and public sector organisations to implement energy efficiency and renewables projects, Capitas was ideally placed to assist the surf attraction with its impressive plans.

For The Wave, Capitas was an ideal partner. In choosing to work with them, the management team at The Wave felt Capitas had a deep understanding of the environmental values of the company and offered the financial expertise needed to support their long-term business plans.

In delivering an energy finance solution, Capitas provided £2.5 million in funding for the investment in the 40 energy efficient wave making modules. An additional £544,000 was made available for various capital expenditure projects.

The Outcomes

The Wave System technology offers a number of sustainability benefits. Most significantly, the energy required to power the wave is significantly more efficient than a pneumatic system on a like-for-like basis (1kw to create a 6ft wave with 15 second ride).

The energy savings not only have a positive environmental effect but make a huge difference in operational costs. The electrical motors and machinery are practically noise-free, so the only sound that can be heard is that of the breaking waves, minimising the acoustic impact on the surrounding area.

Customers get an authentic surfing experience with widest variety of waves, maximum wave frequency, long rides, highest surfer capacity and noise free operation.

Client testimonial

With the attraction now welcoming scores of visitors, the management team at The Wave has reflected on the project.

Craig Stoddart, Chief Executive Officer at The Wave commented:

“We have always had ambitious sustainability plans at The Wave – it is the heart of everything we do. We knew of Capitas Finance through their work at the Eden Project. Our chair Gaynor Coley was previously its Executive Director and she suggested we open discussions with the team to see what energy finance solutions they could offer. Capitas Finance went above and beyond. Before providing the energy efficiency funding, they took time to understand our business – what we stood for and what we wanted to achieve, particularly in terms of reducing our overall environmental impact. Their solution helped bring our ambitions to life, reducing our energy consumption and operational costs, and helping us operate in an environmentally responsible manner. They are a standout team.”

Capitas Finance’s Jeremy Chief Commercial Officer commented:

“As a specialist in financing energy solutions, when we were approached by The Wave to provide a financing solution for their wave making modules we were only too happy to help. Unlike traditional banks Capitas has the technical skills to understand the technology, and the financial skills to competitively price and structure the transaction based on the best value and ROI for The Wave whilst simultaneously helping achieve its sustainability goals.”

More Information

Capitas Finance specialises in financing energy solutions for carbon-conscious businesses and public sector organisations. Our products and services are designed to help you implement sustainable, low carbon technologies and strategies that save energy and reduce carbon emissions and align with the Government’s commitment to reach Net Zero by 2050. To find out how Capitas can work with you, drop us a line here.

Image credits: 

  • Matt Austin
  • Image Cabin, Nick H