Carnegie Wave Energy’s plans to develop the world’s first solar, battery and wave integrated microgrid have been given a major boost, with the Perth company securing $3.69 million in debt funding for the project.
The debt funding deal adds to the $2.5 million awarded to the project by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency in September.
The project – to be based at the Garden Island naval base off the coast of Fremantle – will combine Carnegie’s CETO 6 wave energy technology and the existing desalination plant with 2MW of solar PV and a 2MW/0.5MWh battery storage system.
The plan is for it to be commissioned in the first half of 2017 and, once in operation, to function both “on-grid” – in cooperation with network operator Western Power – and off grid in “islanded mode”.
Carnegie intends to use it as a template for its proposed microgrid business for islands and fringe of grid communities across the world. Earlier this year it announced a partnership with WA-based Energy Made Clean to try and corner a part of the growing global market for renewable energy microgrids.
Carnegie’s chief financial CFO Aidan Flynn said that securing debt finance for the Garden Island project, itself a one-off, was another unique achievement, as well as a validation of the company’s progress in a global microgrid market that was projected to grow to $US40 billion by 2020.
“Not only will the Garden Island Microgrid Project be the first time anywhere in the world that wave energy will be combined with solar and batteries in a microgrid configuration,” Flynn said, “but it will also be the first time such a project has received debt finance.
“Signing of the Debt Financing Agreement for a project of this scale is financial validation for us that Carnegie’s microgrid diversification strategy is a clear path to commercialisation,” he said.
“The unique combination of renewable technologies and battery storage in a microgrid demonstrates the model we will roll out to island nations around the world. It is a significant commercial opportunity for Carnegie.”