Carnegie Wave trebles bet on micro-grid market with EMC purchase | RenewEconomy

Carnegie Wave trebles bet on micro-grid market with EMC purchase

Carnegie Wave takes full ownership of Energy Made Clean, saying South Australia blackout underlines case for renewable based micro-grids.


Perth-based Carnegie Wave Energy has trebled its bet on what it sees as a booming micro-grid market in Australia and overseas and decided to take full ownership of the solar and and battery storage and micro-grid business Energy Made Clean.

Carnegie, which is one of the world leaders in wave energy systems and is also preparing to build the world’s first micro-grid including wave energy, will pay a total of $13 million in shares and cash to lift its stake in EMC from 35 per cent to 100 per cent.

csiro solar emc

CEO Michael Ottaviano says the global micro-grid market is expected to quadruple to around $40 billion in the next few years, driven by plunging costs of solar and storage, and the growing push for more resilient electricity supplies.

Ottaviano points to the recent blackout in South Australia, saying that rather than focus on new big interconnections, as many have suggested, the government and the industry should be focusing in micro-grid alternatives.

This reflects the response of New York to the impact of Hurricane Sandy. Even AGL Energy recognises that the way to achieve the best security is to invest in more renewables, and to create local micro-grids. Western Power is also looking down a similar path to re-organsie its centralised grid structure.

“One natural response out of South Australia is you will see those entities that have large critical loads will look to self-generate and have micro grids, and not rely entirely on long transmission lines,” Ottaviano told RenewEconomy.

“We are seeing the same pattern across the world,” he added, although apart from Western Australia, there had been few examples in Australia.

“Right now, there are already signifiant parts of market where people are using cheaper, cleaner more secure solutions through the deployment of micrgrids.

“If you look at the likes of (retailer) Synergy, (network operator) Western Power, and the Department of Defence, they are not basing decisions because it feels right or is based on ideology. They’re driven by fundamentals such as cost and security.”

He said the “root cause” of the issues in South Australia were not about hardware, or even software, but a failure to plan. “Maybe we can start to do that. I would hate to think that those that calling for a unified national response – I would hate to think that that is just a dog-whistle to delay.

Ottaviano says the purchase of EMC will make Carnegie the only ASX-listed company with the ability to deliver a dedicated renewable energy microgrid, and he sees the potential of this technology replacing more than half of the 400GW of thermal capacity currently in place in islands across the world.

“Carnegie is now at the forefront of designing, developing, financing, constructing, operating and maintaining microgrids, utilising a world-first combination of wave, solar, wind, energy storage, desalination and diesel in both on and off-grid applications in Australia and internationally,” he said in an earlier statement.

“Microgrids are increasingly a major part of the renewable energy market as they can deliver cost competitive, clean power and energy security. It is the right time to seize this opportunity.”

The purchase price will include cash of $2.6 million and $10.4 million in shares, leaving EMC founder and principal John Davidson with a 13 per cent stake in Carnegie, making him the largest shareholder in the combined company.  EMC had revenues of $16 million in its last financial year.

“Over the past few years, EMC has grown from an innovative start up to delivering major contracts to local utilities, developing a unique capability that can be applied across Australia and globally,” Davidson said. “With Carnegie we will be able to grow larger, more quickly and capture this enormous market opportunity.”

Among its projects are the solar and storage microgrid on Mackerel Island off the coast of Onslow in Western Australi, a 1.64MW solar (pictured above) and battery storage array for the CSIRO-led Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder and a 600kW solar farm on Rottnest Island.

Ottaviano said the partnership would allow EMC to grow quicker and provide a solid platform for Carnegie, which is only now rolling out its technology on a commercial scale. “This is a massive market,” he said.





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  1. Craig Allen 4 years ago

    I’d like to see Carnegie take on making the Eyre Peninsular energy independent. They have a massive wave energy resource on their west coast and are more susceptible to blackouts than the rest of the state. They already have wind farms, plenty of sunshine, and bioenergy potential through utilising crop stubble or farming mallee eucalyptus. If the Eyre Peninsular go fully renewable then that proves that the whole state can do it. And if SA can then everywhere can.

    • MrMauricio 4 years ago

      Jobs and innovation???

    • Rod 4 years ago

      I’ve driven past Snowtown and knew about Lake Bonney but I didn’t know we had wind farms on Eyre Peninsular.Thanks.

      Would also be good if Kangaroo Island goes renewables instead of a new undersea cable.
      I can’t find out if CERES is still on the cards but a wind farm with a direct undersea cable to Adelaide would have been very handy over the past Month.

  2. Tomfoolery 4 years ago

    “solar and and battery storage and micro-grid business Energy Made Clean.”

    That’s a lot of “and”…

  3. Mel Cooper 4 years ago

    I was interested to know what peoples opinion on ‘Red Flow’ battery Zinc bromide storage module systems. From what I read this is a new stand alone technology. I thought this would be a good inclusion for Carnegie.

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