The Carnegie Perth Wave Energy Project’s onshore power station has been officially switched on.
Following successful testing last year, the project is now up and running, feeding renewable energy into HMAS Stirling, Australia’s largest naval base.
Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) CEO Ivor Frischknecht and Minister for Industry and Science Ian Macfarlane were there to mark the occasion.
Mr Frischknecht said the occasion marked an important point in the history of wave energy and is the culmination close to a decade of work.
“This is the first array of wave power generators to be connected to an electricity grid in Australia and worldwide,” Mr Frischknecht said.
“During the testing phase, the first 240kW peak capacity CETO 5 wave unit operated successfully for more than 2,000 hours.
“The innovative CETO technology moves with the waves to drive tethered seabed pumps and operates under water, providing protection from storms and corrosion.
“These pumps feed high pressure water onshore to the hydroelectric power station and desalination plant, supplying renewable energy and fresh water.”
Mr Frischknecht said Carnegie is already taking the next steps to move its technology towards competitiveness with other sources of power generation.
“Planning and design work has begun on Carnegie’s next generation CETO 6 technology, supported by $13 million ARENA funding,” Mr Frischknecht said.
“These larger units are aiming to deliver around four times the capacity of CETO 5 units, improving efficiency and reducing energy generation costs.
“This progress is a clear example that given time, and with the right government support, emerging renewable energy technologies can progress along the innovation chain towards commercialisation.
“The lessons learned through Carnegie’s ARENA supported projects are being shared with the renewable energy industry to help reduce the hurdles facing other wave energy projects.”
ARENA is providing $13 million funding support towards the $32 million Perth Wave Energy project.