Harnessing the power of the sea is gaining momentum in Australia.
Carnegie Wave Energy, an Australian wave power company, recently revealed that it’s working with the Australian government-owned energy company Western Power to create the world’s first wave energy island microgrid that is connected to an electricity network.
The undersea system will be built about six miles off the coast Garden Island, a small Australian Island near Perth. And if all goes well, the undersea power system could even become a model for other island nations or really any township that is near the sea.
“Carnegie sees great potential to integrate its world leading CETO wave technology into islands as well as fringe of grid applications wherever there is a strong wave resource,” Michael Ottaviano, Carnegie’s CEO said in a press statement.
The CETO units are basically fully submerged buoys, called buoyant actuators, that are tethered to a pump on the seafloor. The buoyant actuators move along with the waves transferring energy through the tether to the pump that sends pressurized fluid onshore to power a hydroelectric power plant.
Carnegie has been developing its wave generation technology CETO for about a decade, and it has already had a number of successes.
Earlier this year, the company completed its Perth Energy Wave Project and began generating energy via its CETO 5 array. The Garden Island Microgrid Project, however, will use the CETO 6, which is expected to produce 1 megawatt, or enough energy to power about 2,000 to 3,000 homes.
However, for now all of the generated electricity will be going to the Australian Defense Department and a desalination plant located on the island.