Australia’s Carnegie to build biggest wave energy project in UK

Perth-based Carnegie Wave Energy said it is likely to build its biggest wave energy project to date in the UK, with a planned 10-15MW project to tap into generous government support on tariffs and grants in what is emerging as the biggest wave energy market in the world.

CEO Michael Ottaviano said Carnegie will build the first project using its latest CETO 6 technology, using full-sized machines each of 1MW capacity, at its Garden Island test bed where it has been trialling the previous CETO 5 technology in the first multi-machine deployment in the world. The next major development will then happen overseas.

The UK project will occur in two stages: a single CETO 6 unit followed by the balance of the project, which could be for nine or 14 further units, taking the installation size to 10MW or 15MW.

“The first unit is to demonstrate to the financiers of the second stage the unit performance at the same site,” he told RenewEconomy.

“This is required to unlock more traditional project financing for the second stage. We would expect the first stage would be substantially EU grant funded and we’re aiming to have secured this grant later this year.”

The UK project is one of three major initiatives to be begun this year, with work beginning on the deployment of its first installation with the full-size CETO 6 machines at Garden Island off Perth, and on the first wave-based micro-grid which will incorporate wave energy, solar PV and battery storage.

The company is also working on studies for wave-based micro grids in Mauritius, and expects to take its micro-grid technology to other remote areas and islands.

The 1MW CETO 6 machines will have more than four times the output of the last version, CETO 5, which was deployed last year off Fremantle in the world’s first multi-machine wave energy trial.

The new model will also involve a change of design that will mean power is generated inside the large “buoyant activator” rather than onshore.

Data from the CETO 5 trial confirmed expectations on modelling for the output, and survived seas of 5.8m. The company said the 14,000 hours of demonstration showed it had minimal environmental impact.