Another step in the right direction for renewable energy in Australia as Carnegie Wave is switching on their onshore power station at their Perth Wave Energy project. The Carnegie project is the very first time that wave-powered electricity has been allowed to flow into any of Australia’s grids.
The project will sell power directly to the Australian Department of Defence in order to supply energy to their biggest naval base, HMAS Stirling located in Garden Island. Eventually the Carnegie project will expand their operation to also provide the naval base with fresh water. This second phase to occur once Carnegie’s commissioned desalination plant has been completely integrated into the overall project.
Carnegie Perth wave energy CETO 5 technology
This innovative Australian wave generated technology is unique in the sense that such CETO technology move in harmony with the waves from the ocean. Such movements in turn drive tethered seabed pumps in order to function underneath the water. This functioning also prevents corrosion from taking place as well as protects the system from storms.
The seabed pumps feed highly pressurised water directly into the onshore located hydroelectric power station as well as the desalination plant, which effectively supplies renewable energy and fresh water respectively.
The plant was switched on during February 2015, and the ceremony was attended by federal resources minister Ian Macfarlane. This is the peak of almost a decade’s worth of time and effort put into the research conducted by Carnegie Wave.
First wave energy network connected to an electricity grid worldwide
In depth testing was conducted during 2014 on the Carnegie project, especially after the installation of the company’s CETO 5 wave energy generation units, where the first 240 kW peak capacity operated successfully for more than 2,000 hours. Two have been installed so far and one more is still in the works. These are located just outside of Garden Island.
“This is the first array of wave power generators to be connected to an electricity grid in Australia and worldwide,” said Ivor Frischknecht – CEO of the Australian Renewable Energy Association, which provided $13 million of the $32 million project.
“Planning and design work has begun on Carnegie’s next generation CETO 6 technology, supported by $13 million ARENA funding,” he said.
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“These larger units are aiming to deliver around four times the capacity of CETO 5 units, improving efficiency and reducing energy generation costs.
Carnegie’s next generation CETO 6 technology under development
Carnegie has identified the next steps in order to evolve its technology towards better competitiveness regarding other types of power generation sources.
“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,” Frischknecht said.
“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.”
Just the fact alone that this wave power station is the only one operating within the world is proof to the genius and assiduity of the Carnegie team. Company CEO Michael Ottaviano is very proud of he’s team and also thanked the WA as well as federal governments for their support concerning financial grants which aided the project in moving forward.