The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) today joined Minister for Industry and Science Ian Macfarlane to officially switch on the Carnegie Perth Wave Energy Project’s onshore power station.
Following successful testing last year, the project is now up and running, feeding renewable energy into HMAS Stirling, Australia’s largest naval base.
ARENA CEO Ivor Frischknecht said the occasion marked an important point in the history of wave energy and is the culmination close to a decade of work.
“This is the first array of wave power generators to be connected to an electricity grid in Australia and worldwide,” Mr Frischknecht said.
“During the testing phase, the first 240kW peak capacity CETO 5 wave unit operated successfully for more than 2,000 hours.
“The innovative CETO technology moves with the waves to drive tethered seabed pumps and operates under water, providing protection from storms and corrosion.
“These pumps feed high pressure water onshore to the hydroelectric power station and desalination plant, supplying renewable energy and fresh water.”
Mr Frischknecht said Carnegie is already taking the next steps to move its technology towards competitiveness with other sources of power generation.
“Planning and design work has begun on Carnegie’s next generation CETO 6 technology, supported by $13 million ARENA funding,” Mr Frischknecht said.
“These larger units are aiming to deliver around four times the capacity of CETO 5 units, improving efficiency and reducing energy generation costs.
“This progress is a clear example that given time, and with the right government support, emerging renewable energy technologies can progress along the innovation chain towards commercialisation.
“The lessons learned through Carnegie’s ARENA supported projects are being shared with the renewable energy industry to help reduce the hurdles facing other wave energy projects.”
ARENA is providing $13 million funding support towards the $32 million Perth Wave Energy project.
Carnegie Wave Energy Limited is an Australian, ASX-listed (ASX:CWE) wave energy technology developer. Carnegie is the 100% owner and developer of the CETO Wave Energy Technology intellectual property. The CETO system is different from other wave energy devices as it operates under water where it is safer from large storms and invisible from the shore. Fully submerged buoys are tethered to seabed pump units. These buoys move with the motion of the passing waves and drive the pumps. The pumps pressurise fluid which is then used to drive hydro turbines and generators to produce electricity.
Media release – The Hon Ian Macfarlane MP, 18 February: Wave energy milestone demonstrates Australian ingenuity