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World’s first grid-connected wave power station in Australia

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The world’s first grid-connected wave power station has been activated off the coast of Western Australia (WA) along with that it also supplies zero-emission desalinated water. 

After more than a decade of testing and demonstrations, Australian company Carnegie Wave Energy has switched on a pilot project that has begun feeding wave-generated electricity into a local WA grid.

“This is the first array of wave power generators to be connected to
an electricity grid in Australia and worldwide,” said Ivor Frischknecht,
CEO of the Australian Renewable Energy Agency, in a statement. The Agency has provided $13 million of the $32 million project.

The company’s technology named CETO
after a Greek goddess of the sea converts ocean swell into
zero-emission renewable power and zero-emission desalinated freshwater.
The company says its
system is “different from other wave energy devices as it operates
under water where it is safer from large storms [and corrosion] and
invisible from the shore”.  

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The round, submerged buoys are tethered to seabed pump units, which
are installed at a depth of between 25 and 50 metres. Waves crashing
into the buoys drive the pumps, which push pressurised seawater through a
pipeline beneath the ocean floor to an onshore hydroelectric power
station. Here, the high-pressure water drives a turbine and generates
electricity.
The high-pressure water can also be used to supply a
reverse osmosis desalination plant, replacing or reducing reliance on
greenhouse gas-emitting, electrically-driven pumps usually required for
such plants,” the company states on its website.
As Sophie Vorath reports for RenewEconomy,
the “project will sell power to the Australian Department of Defence to
supply Australia’s largest naval base, HMAS Stirling, which is located
on Garden Island. It will soon also sell fresh water to the base, once
Carnegie’s newly commissioned desalination plant is fully integrated
into the project”.
So far, only two of the project’s three buoys have been installed. You can watch the sped-up installation of the second buoy, though be forewarned, the accompanying music might make you dizzy. 
“During
the testing phase, the first 240kW peak capacity CETO 5 wave unit
operated successfully for more than 2,000 hours,” Frischknecht said in a statement
The
company’s larger CETO 6 units, which are already being developed, are
expected to have four times the power generating capacity.  

Carnegie chief executive Michael Ottaviano told The West Australian the project could pave the way for much bigger versions capable of powering towns. 
“The challenge from here on is really about scale and cost,” he said.
”We need to make the technology bigger, we need to make our projects
bigger because that’s what allows you to get your costs down.”
“Our
wave resources in Western Australia are the best in the world, and
theoretically, the resources that hit our coastline everyday could power
the state 10 times over,” Ottaviano told ABC News.  

Check out the ABC News report below.
 

  

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