Australian wave energy technology developer Carnegie Wave Energy is set to design and build the first renewable energy island ‘microgrid’ in the world.
The Garden Island Microgrid Project will produce both power and desalinated water.
The microgrid will be designed in such a way that it will be able to operate either independently or in conjunction with the Western Australian electricity network, seamlessly switching between the two through a control system.
The $7.5 million project will involve the construction and integration of 2 megawatts (MW) of photovoltaic solar capacity and a 2MW/0.5MWh battery storage system, coupled with Carnegie’s own unique and innovative CETO6 off-shore wave energy generation technology.
Carnegie’s CETO6 technology converts ocean wave energy into zero-emission electricity and directly desalinated water.
The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) has awarded $2.5 million to the Perth company to support the development.
“It will be the first time wave energy will be integrated into a microgrid, and if successful this diverse technology system could set a great new exportable opportunity for Australia to island nations around the globe,” said ARENA CEO Ivor Frischknecht.
“With limited land available, wave energy generation supported by a reliable microgrid of battery storage and solar PV could be a better, cheaper and more sustainable way to power remote coastal or island communities long-term, displacing their reliance on diesel fuel.”
The Garden Island Microgrid Project is expected to be fully operational by mid-2017.
“The Garden Island Microgrid Project will be the first time anywhere in the world that wave energy will be combined with solar and batteries in a microgrid configuration. The demonstration of this microgrid project will help drive the commercialisation of CETO and will be a model we will roll out to island nations around the world. We look forward to completing the outstanding elements of the Project including final approvals, construction award and power offtake in order to commence the Project, as soon as possible,” said Carnegie’s Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Dr Michael Ottaviano.