Key players in the ocean renewable energy sector met today at the Australian Maritime College (AMC), a specialist institute of the University of Tasmania, to observe a world-first trial testing the performance and impact of wave energy farms at model scale.
A number of wave energy devices were grouped together in an array for a series of experiments under various wave conditions in the model test basin facility.
The meeting was a collaboration between AMC and Swinburne University of Technology with industry partners BioPower Systems Pty Ltd and Carnegie Wave Energy, supported by funding from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA).
Researchers converged on AMC to discuss ARENA-funded ocean energy projects. ARENA CEO Ivor Frischknecht said the two-day meeting would provide an overview of the projects, identify links and explore opportunities for them to work together in the future.
“This is an excellent example of knowledge sharing, bringing together expertise from across Australia’s wave energy sector. This kind of collaboration is critical to advancing renewable energy in Australia and is actively encouraged by ARENA,” Mr Frischknecht said.
“Wave arrays enable economies of scale, so determining how devices interact in the ocean will be crucial to the commercialisation of wave power. Testing at AMC could one day lead to wave energy arrays being deployed off Australian coastlines or islands, feeding affordable renewable energy to onshore users.”
Attendees also discussed the CSIRO-led Australian Wave Energy Atlas project, which aims to make information on the ocean energy resources in Australia readily available for use by industry developers.