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Wave energy milestone demonstrates Australian ingenuity

18 February 2015

In an Australian-first, wave energy is supplying electricity to the national grid as a result of Australia’s investment in a broad range of renewable energy technologies.

Minister for Industry and Science Ian Macfarlane today officially switched on Carnegie’s Perth Wave Energy Project at Garden Island in Western Australia, which is supported by an investment of $13.1 million of Federal Government funding through the Australian Renewable Energy Agency.  The Australian Government is investing a further $13 million in developing the next generation of Carnegie’s wave technology.

“This project will supply power to Australia’s largest naval base, HMAS Stirling, in a tremendous achievement for both Carnegie and wave energy in Australia,” Mr Macfarlane said.

“It’s the first time in Australia’s history that a renewable wave power array has been connected to one of our major electricity grids.

“The project has the dual benefit of also including a desalination plant, which produces zero-emission fresh water from the waves.

“CETO wave energy technology is a world-leading home grown product that has been developed over 10 years by Carnegie.

“The submerged buoys operate under water, away from large storms and not visible from land, moving with the motion of the waves to drive offshore seabed pumps.

“High pressure water from CETO 5 buoys drives onshore hydroelectric turbines with 720kW peak capacity and feeds a desalination plant, providing renewable energy and fresh water.

“Australia has great potential for further wave energy applications, with the resources on our south and south-west coast among the best in the world. It makes sense to tap into this renewable potential that will help diversify our energy mix.

“The Carnegie project is great evidence of a commercial success in renewable energy.   This type of practical application will guide future development of Australia’s renewable energy sector.

“The Australian Government is investing further to support advances in wave technology, through a second tranche of funding of $13 million for Carnegie’s CETO 6 Project – which is in its preliminary design phase.

“Renewable energy is an important part of Australia’s energy profile, and the Australian Government is working to ensure it continues to play a role both here in Australia and through international applications.”

For more information, see the ARENA media release and project profile.

Media contact: Mr Macfarlane's Office 02 6277 7070