Perth-based Carnegie Wave Energy has committed to developing its first commercial scale wave energy project in Australia, after the Australian Renewable Energy Agency said it would commit $11 million to the $46 million project.
The funding, which adds to a $20 million promised by the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, means that Carnegie will build a three-machine of its CETO-6 technology off Garden Island naval base near Perth/
The decision means that for nearly the first time, a full scale commercial operation from an Australian array is actually built in Australia – rather than following other technologies offshore.
The Garden Island project can be scaled much higher, and Carnegie will however, also build another plant at the UK’s wave energy hub, where it will have space for a 5MW plant, and where the company will receive five renewable energy certificates for every MWh produced.
Carnegie is currently building a demonstration plant using CETO 5 technology to generate zero-emission power and direct desalinated water. The CETO 6 technology is bigger in scale, and will reduce operating costs considerably.
Carnegie Wave Energy Limited is focused on developing and commercialising its 100% owned CETO wave energy technology which is capable of producing zero-emission power and direct desalinated water.
“The $46 million CETO 6 project represents the next generation of Carnegie’s landmark wave technology and is expected to deliver energy at approximately half the cost of CETO 5,” ARENA CEO Iver Frischknecht said in a statement.
“CETO 6 also allows for offshore power generation, which could enable … operating further from shore, in deep[er] water.”
The CETO 6 units are fully submerged buoys, tethered to the ocean floor and designed to harness energy from the ocean’s waves. They are also larger than the CETO 5 model, making it a key driver of the lower energy cost.
Carnegie says this new technology has the power to match fossil fuels on cost. “CETO 6 builds on knowledge gained from previous generations of the technology and aims to be cost competitive with fossil fuels in certain markets when deployed in large-scale projects” said Frischknecht.
Initially, the project will deploy three CETO 6 units off the coast of Garden Island, WA with plans to generate up to 3MW of power for the HMAS Stirling Navy base, Australia’s largest navel base, part of Carnegie’s existing power supply agreement.
The CETO 6 unit in the Project has a target power capacity of 1MW (1000kW), some four times the current CETO 5 generation being used in the Perth Project.
Carnegie CEO Dr Michael Ottaviano said, “This grant funding represents a crucial element of the CETO 6 Project and we are delighted to have achieved this outcome at this time. In a globally competitive environment this gives us the confidence to move forward quickly and efficiently with the commercialisation of our CETO technology. Carnegie is grateful for the ongoing support of the Australian Government.”
In addition to Australian Government funding received through ARENA’s Emerging Renewables Program, Carnegie has a five-year, $20 million loan facility from the Clean Energy Finance Corporation to support the $46 million CETO 6 Project, as long as it was built in Australia.