Perth-based Carnegie Clean Energy is switching the development of its commercial-scale wave energy technology to Albany in the south of Western Australia after winning a tender for a $15.7 million state-government grant.
The grant will mean that Carnegie will install the first of its full-scale 1MW CETO 6 technology in Albany in the summer of 2019/20, the forerunner of a possible 20MW wave energy plant and a bigger 100MW facility to follow.
Carnegie’s success in the grant was hardly a surprise, given it is further down the track on wave energy than its competitors.
However, the news comes with two unexpected turns. One is the apparent delay in the deployment of CETO 6, and another is the decision to make the first deployment at Albany, rather than the Garden Island project near Fremantle as previously planned.
Carnegie now proposes to use the Garden Island facility, associated with a micro-grid, to develop prototypes and continue its wave energy research. The Australian Renewable Energy Agency has agreed to transfer the remaining $11.6 million of its CETO 6 funding to the Albany project.
The WA government is keen to establish a wave energy centre around Albany, and apart from the grant to Carnegie it has awarded $3.75 million to University of Western Australia to establish an associated national Wave Energy Research Centre.
The centre will seek to elevate Western Australia to the forefront of offshore renewable energy research and technology and bring together more than 30 researchers to support Carnegie’s ongoing research into wave, tidal and offshore wind energy.
Carnegie will also make its facilities open to other wave energy developers, and build “common user infrastructure” at the Albany site which will be made available for other wave energy industry developers once the CETO 6 project is complete.
“With wave energy, we have the potential to take advantage of our local technology and resource advantage to build an industry we can commercialise and export globally,” CEO Michael Ottaviano said.
“Having a globally recognised Wave Energy Research Centre in Western Australia will also attract national and international interest from research and industry participants.”
Carnegie says it intends to install the first CETO 6 unit into its existing licence area offshore from Torbay and Sandpatch in Albany during the 2019/2020 summer weather window.
It plans to follow this with a 20MW expansion which in could in turn lead to a 100MW CETO wave farm at the site.
“Further details of the latest CETO 6 design will be released in the coming weeks,” it says.
“The Albany Project also represents an opportunity for Australia to develop world leading industrial capacity in the design and development of wave projects. Carnegie’s wave energy team and its CETO wave technology are already recognised as a world leading.”