The world’s first wave energy power station has been switched on after being connected successfully to Western Australia’s electricity grid. The station will provide electricity and desalinated water for Australia’s biggest naval base.
“This is the first array of wave power generators to be
connected to an electricity grid in Australia and
worldwide,” said Ivor Frischknecht from the Australian
Renewable Energy Agency. “During the testing phase, the first
240kW peak capacity CETO 5 wave unit operated successfully for
more than 2,000 hours.”
An opening ceremony was held on Wednesday in the presence of
Minister for Industry and Science Ian Macfarlane and Australian
Renewable Energy Agency representatives.
Developed by Carnegie Wave Energy, the project is based in Perth.
The station will provide renewable electricity for Stirling,
Australia’s largest naval base on Garden Island.
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The station consists of numerous buoys called Buoyant Actuators
under the ocean surface, which create hydraulic pressure when
they are moved by the waves. The pressure is then converted into
electric power and transferred to its destination. The station
consists of two units, with one more expected later. The total
power capacity of the station will be three megawatts. The units
have already provided enough energy to power the equivalent of
between 1,500 to 2,000 households.
The special technology also provides protection of the whole
system from corrosion and damage during storms. In addition to
producing energy, the CETO technology also enables getting
“We’re really excited to be putting power into the grid to
supply HMAS Stirling on Garden Island,” Carnegie CEO Michael
Ottaviano said. “It’s a culmination of about 10 years work,
about $100 million in funding, most of it from shareholders, and
also with the support of the Federal Government and the State
Government of Western Australia, and the Department of
According to the Carnegie specialists, waves are a very reliable
source of energy as they are always active.
“Our wave resource in Western Australia is the best in the
world, and theoretically the resource that hits our coastline
every day could power the state 10 times over,” Ottaviano
said. “Across the country, it’s the best in the world as
well, and the resource there could power the country twice over,
so the opportunity is huge and Australia should be a world leader
in this particular technology because we’ve got the best
The Carnegie Company is continuing to work on the technology and
it plans to make these kind of renewable power stations popular
in Australia and all over the world.
can operate in a variety of water depths, swell directions and
seafloor conditions and can generate power for both onshore and
offshore consumption,” Western Australia’s Energy Minister
Mike Nahan said.