The onshore site for the Perth Wave Energy Project, located at Garden Island, HMAS Stirling has been officially handed over from the Australian Department of Defence to Carnegie Wave Energy Limited.
Carnegie has been working with Defence since the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding in December 2008.
In July 2012, Carnegie signed power supply and grid connection agreements with the Australian Department of Defence for electrical power from the project to be supplied exclusively to HMAS Stirling.
“Handover of the onshore site follows the recent procurement of key elements of the project and was a necessary step prior to the commencement of construction,” said Mr Tim Sawyer, Carnegie Project Development Manager.
“It is a significant step in the implementation of Carnegie’s Perth Project, indicative of the significant amount of work by both the Department of Defence and Carnegie.”
The project will not only be the first grid-connection wave energy project to use Carnegie’s CETO wave energy technology to produce power and fresh water, it will also be the first commercial scale wave power unit deployed in Australia.
Named after a Greek sea goddess, CETO offers the potential to revolutionise power and water production globally, Mr Sawyer explained.
“It will involve the installation and operation of submerged CETO units attached to the sea floor,” said Mr Sawyer.
“These are connected to two small diameter pipelines, laid on the seabed, that run back to a shore-based power and water generation facility located on Garden Island.”
“CETO harnesses the enormous renewable energy present in our ocean’s waves and converts it into two of the most valuable commodities underpinning the sustainable growth of the planet; zero-emission electricity and zero-emission desalinated water.”
Unlike other wave energy systems currently under development around the world, the CETO wave power converter is the first unit to be fully-submerged and to produce high pressure water from the power of waves.
With CETO units fully submerged and permanently anchored to the sea floor, they have no visual impact, are environmentally friendly, attract marine life and are safe from the extreme forces that can be present during storms.
The careful selection of CETO unit anchoring points ensures they are anchored in deep water away from popular surf breaks
By delivering high pressure water ashore, the technology allows either zero-emission electricity to be produced (similar to hydroelectricity) or zero-emission freshwater (utilising standard reverse osmosis desalination technology). The system can also be used for co-production of zero-emission electricity and freshwater.
The Perth Wave Energy Project, including the addition of desalination, is supported by a total of $19million in grant funding from the Australian Federal Government’s Emerging Renewables Program, the Clean Technology Innovation Program and the Western Australian State Government’s Low Emissions Energy Development fund.
Completion of the construction phase is anticipated to occur in September 2013 with commissioning of the project forecasted for the first quarter of 2014.
Press Release, July 12, 2013; Image: Australian Navy