The launch of the world’s first 1MW wave-energy-to-electricity unit in Port MacDonnell, South Australia is taking Australia closer to a more sustainable energy mix and enhancing the country’s reputation for world-leading renewable energy solutions.
With ARENA’s support, Oceanlinx has designed and constructed a 1MW wave energy device to convert the ocean’s power into electricity and is now preparing to commission and test how well it can feed this into the national electricity grid for 12 months.
ARENA CEO Ivor Frischknecht said this project is helping take a new home-grown wave energy technology that has zero emissions closer to commercialisation.
“Our investment aims to demonstrate the technology and share lessons learned to catalyse future projects,” Mr Frischknecht said.
“The project has improved collaboration between the research, government and industry sectors to deliver wave energy projects including coordination on regulatory matters, which will make the next project easier.”
Mr Frischknecht said there is great potential for wave energy technology in Australia with our wave resources considered to be among the best in the world; the area between Geraldton in Western Australia and the southern tip of Tasmania having the potential to provide about five times Australia’s total electricity requirements.
Following the testing period, there is potential for Oceanlinx to scale-up its device and increase the power generated up to ten megawatts, contributing more renewable energy into South Australia’s electricity mix.
Oceanlinx’s technology works by waves producing high pressure air, which is converted into grid-quality electricity by a turbine.
The $8 million project is supported by the Australian Government through the Australian Renewable Energy Agency’s (ARENA) Emerging Renewables Program with $4.4 million funding.