World first: wave technology used in island microgrid

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) has provided $2.5 million to Perth company, Carnegie Wave Energy to build the world’s first renewable energy ‘microgrid’ on Garden Island off the coast of Perth.

The project will cost a total of $7.5 million and will include 2megawatt (MW) photovoltaic solar capacity and a 2MW/0.5MWh battery storage system, and Carnegie’s own CET06 off-shore wave energy generator.

ARENA CEO Ivor Frischknect said the project was expected to demonstrate the viability of integrating renewable energy in a microgrid with a utility-scale distribution network.

“It will be the first time wave energy will be integrated into a microgrid, and if successful this diverse technology system could set a great new exportable opportunity for Australia to island nations around the globe,” Mr Frischknecht said.

Mr Frischknect said the limited availability of land and a reliable microgrid battery storage system, wave energy generation and solar PV could be a better, cheaper and more sustainable way to power remote coastal or island communities long term.

“This project is a clear example of technology progress; that given time, and with the right government support, emerging renewable energy technologies can progress along the innovation chain towards commercialisation.”

The project will begin construction on Garden Island by the end of the year and completed by mid-2017.