ASX-listed wave energy developer Carnegie Wave Energy has won a berth at the world’s largest purpose built wave energy demonstration facility in the south west England, to test its CETO 6 commercial-scale technology.
The berth – and the generous tariff being paid for a demonstration plant – means that Carnegie could have two full scale projects underway with the latest version of its technology. This comes after the Clean Energy Finance Corporation allocated a $20 million loan facility if it built a similar plant in Australia.
However, the UK deal provides Carnegie with a ready-made, grid-connected berth at the “Wave Hub” in Cornwall, to deploy and test an array of CETO 6 Units in open water conditions.
Weighing in at 1MW, the CETO 6 array will have a power capacity some four times that of the current CETO 5 generation being deployed in a world first 3 unit array in Carnegie’s Perth Project in Western Australia.
Electricity generated from the project will be sold under Wave Hub’s power purchase agreement that includes the ability to claim 5 Renewable Obligation Certificates (approximately 50c/kWh or $500/MWh ).
The berth was awarded to Carnegie by the Wave Hub board after the successful completion of due diligence on the company and its technology, which has gone from concept to pre-commercial array in just 10 years – a track record described as “impressive” by Wave Hub managing director Claire Gibson.
Last week, Carnegie announced plans for a $6 million capital raising to further boost the development of its CETO 6 units, via a share purchase plan. This followed on from the CEFC loan facility. Its ability to run two such projects will depend on its ability to raise up-front finance, although the certainty provided by the tariff should help bring financiers across the line.
The company’s director of European business development, Kieran O’Brien says that as well as testing the technology on a commercial scale, the Wave Hub berth would also provide the opportunity to leverage UK technical and commercial supply chain expertise, “in the heart of the marine renewables industry.”
Its potential site in Australia will be decided after negotiations with two state governments. One of the sites is believed to be off Rottnest Island, near Perth, and not far from its Garden Island facility. The news comes as a rival wave energy technology, Oceanlinx, was placed in receivership after the failure to tow a 1MW machine into place off Port McConnell in South Australia.