ASX-listed wave power developer Carnegie Wave Energy has announced the successful installation of the third CETO 5 wave energy unit at its world-first, grid-connected Perth Wave Energy Project in Western Australia.
The WA-based company said in a statement on Thursday that the final CETO 5 had been operational since being installed at the project site off Garden Island on Saturday, and was sending energy to the local grid alongside the two other units.
Last month, Carnegie officially switched on the onshore power station for its Perth Wave Energy Project, thus launching the world’s first commercial-scale grid connected wave energy array and marking the first time in Australia that wave-generated electricity has been fed into the grid.
The switching on of the plant capped off nearly 10 years of work by Carnegie Wave, and extensive testing of its Australian-made CETO technology, which operates under water, moving with the ocean’s waves to drive tethered seabed pumps.
The project’s first CETO 5 unit, installed in November 2014, has now been operating for over 2,700 hours; the second was installed in late January, one week after Carnegie completed its onshore power plant for the project.
Carnegie managing director, Michael Ottaviano said the successful installation of the final CETO 5 unit was the final step in the delivery of the Perth Wave Energy Project, capping off an enormous achievement for Carnegie and its stakeholders.
“The integration of multiple wave energy convertors is critical to demonstrating the principles of future CETO wave farms. Now all three units are integrated and operating we can begin to operate the power plant as intended and understand how the system operates across a range of sea states and settings,” he said.
The company said the Perth Wave Energy Project – which is selling power to the Australian Department of Defence to supply Australia’s largest naval base, HMAS Stirling, located on Garden Island – will now operate through the 2015 calendar year.
The recently announced grid commissioned desalination plant will now also undergo integration into the wave farm to allow zero-emission freshwater to be produced, also to supply the naval base.
During the year, Carnegie’s engineers will carry out various operational tests and calibrations to test and understand the system operation under various settings and conditions. The data collected will inform the design and delivery of Carnegie’s CETO 6 project.
A planned retrieval and onshore inspection of one of the two existing CETO 5 units has been deferred by Carnegie to allow time to observe all three units in operation together, the company said.