CETO wave energy machine swept away in cyclone, report says

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A wave energy machine on Reunion island using technology developed by Carnegie Wave Energy has reportedly been swept away and destroyed during a recent cyclone.

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A wave energy machine on Reunion island using technology developed by Perth-based Carnegie Wave Energy has reportedly been swept away and damaged during a recent cyclone in an embarrassing incident for the company.

Local press reports said that the prototype machine was swept away when waves whipped up by Cyclone Bejisa earlier this month snapped the cable linking the large buoy with the hydraulic pump anchored to the ocean floor.

A report in one online journal said the buoy was swept away and even the foundations were found adjacent to a nearby reef. The cyclone packed winds of up to 200km, caused one death, a dozen injuries, and widespread damage to buildings, agriculture and energy and water supplies.

The project near the town of St Pierre was being managed under licence by the French energy giant EdF, which hired French maritime defence specialist DCNS to manufacture and deploy a commercial scale CETO 4 unit.

The Reunion Island project is jointly funded by EDF and the French and the Réunion Governments, and had been hoped to be a predecessor for a larger scale deployment.

A spokesman for Carnegie confirmed that the buoy had been swept away when the tether failed, but denied that the foundations had been impacted or that the machine had been destroyed. He said it may be redeployed.

He said that  machine deployed on Reunion was a modification of the CETO technology introduced by DCNS, particularly in relation to how the buoy was installed and the absence of a “quick release” mechanism in case of failure. This was a major cause of the incident.

“It is unfortunate, but we are reassured by the fact that DCNS are not deterred by this event, and they will continue with the deployment,” the spokesman said.

He also said that the incident would have no impact on the WA project, which will use a later model of CETO. “The issues will never be encountered here because we are dealing with our proprietary design. In fact, it confirms that the design decisions that we have made.”

Carnegie is currently building a larger installation next to Garden Island near Perth, in what will be the world’s first multi-machine deployment of wave energy power. It will also provide missions-free desalinated water to the naval base on Garden Island.

 

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8 Comments
  1. barrie harrop 5 years ago

    As predicted some time ago.

  2. johnnewton 5 years ago

    The nice thing is that even though the machine was swept away – no massive fuel spills, no loss of habitat for fish…just fix it up and replace it. Goodbye fossil fuel

  3. Lifeboatman 5 years ago

    If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. Hang in there folks

  4. Hugh Sharman 5 years ago

    Hilarious story! When will they ever learn that the ocean is a really tough environment?

    • RobS 5 years ago

      I’m pretty sure they’re well aware, the point is that it is a tough environment precisely because of the potential energy contained in moving water which is exactly the resource they are attempting to harness.

  5. Alen 5 years ago

    The CETO program and wave technology is amazing if you ask me. It’s good to know that a minor set backs like these are taken on the chin and will not stop them developing ever more improvements

  6. barrie harrop 5 years ago

    After its wave energy unit ran into trouble recently, the Oceanlinx company has been put into administration.

    There is due to be a creditors’ meeting this week for the New South Wales-based company.

    A multi-million-dollar wave energy generator was damaged last month while under tow from Adelaide to Port MacDonnell in the south-east of South Australia.

    It was towed to shallow waters at Carrickalinga but there has been no decision on what will happen next to the wave unit.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-04-01/wave-energy-company-oceanlinx-in-administration/5358274?section=sa

    • Alen 5 years ago

      Because a company went under and one generator is having difficulties all wave projects are unviable and should be ignored and avoided henceforth, is that your meaning and conclusion? For a technology that is still going through R&D and has such a great potential (to produce both reliable power and in some projects desalinated water) this is a very good track record. U want to criticise and nit-pick some technology flaws then focus on coal-fired generators which after so many decades and a mature technology base are still breaking down, often at the most inopportune periods. As far as companies go, just look at the number of dud CSG companies if you’re seeking failure.

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