World first commercial wave power station goes online

World first commercial wave power station goes online

Carnegie Wave Energy Limited’s three-unit array of CETO 5 wave energy generators is now up and running. This is the first array of wave power generators to be connected to an electricity grid in Australia, and the world.

Located off Garden Island, in Western Australia, it’s the first operating wave project in the world to be composed of multiple connected units.

Garden Island is home to HMAS Stirling, the largest naval base in Australia. The new wave energy farm will provide the base with zero emission electricity from wave energy, and pressurised water for zero emission desalination.

Carnegie’s CETO systems use a buoy submerged in the sea that moves with the motion of the waves. That action is used to pressurise fluid, which is piped ashore to power a turbine and produce electricity. The same energy may also be used to produce drinking water from seawater.

The company is developing another project that will use larger versions of the CETO systems and is supported by $11 million from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency and $20 million in debt from Australia’s Clean Energy Finance Corp.

“We’re really excited to be putting power into the grid to supply HMAS Stirling on Garden Island,” Carnegie chief executive officer Michael Ottaviano said.

“It’s a culmination of about 10 years work, about $100 million in funding, most of it from shareholders, and also with the support of the Federal Government and the State Government of Western Australia, and the Department of Defence.”

“Our wave resource in Western Australia is the best in the world, and theoretically the resource that hits our coastline every day could power the state 10-times over.

“Across the country, it’s the best in the world as well, and the resource there could power the country twice over, so the opportunity is huge and Australia should be a world leader in this particular technology because we’ve got the best resource.”

The Carnegie Company is continuing to work on the technology and it plans to make these kind of renewable power stations popular in Australia and all over the world.

An opening ceremony was held in February in the presence of Minister for Industry and Science Ian Macfarlane and ARENA representatives.

“This technology can operate in a variety of water depths, swell directions and seafloor conditions and can generate power for both onshore and offshore consumption,” Western Australia’s Energy Minister Mike Nahan said.