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Perth Wave Energy Project, Australia




Key Data


Perth Wave Energy Project

The Perth Wave Power Project (PWEP) is an innovative offshore development located in Garden Island, Western Australia. It is being developed by Carnegie Wave Energy.

The plant will have a peak rated capacity of 5MW. Carnegie signed a power offtake agreement for the project with Synergy. The electricity generated by the project will be sufficient to power approximately 3,500 households.

Carnegie claims it to be the most advanced wave power project in Australia. PWEP will also be the first commercial demonstration project of Carnegie.

The project is expected to create up to 30 jobs. It won the Sustainable Energy Industry Excellence and Innovation Developer Award from the WA Sustainable Energy Association in March 2010.

The project secured environmental and safety approvals in December 2012 following a two year environmental impact assessment. It received planning approval from the Government of Western Australia in February 2013.

Detailed design of the project was completed in 2013. Construction of the project was started in September 2013 with first power expected by early 2014.

Perth Wave project details

"The electricity generated by the project will be sufficient to power approximately 3,500 households."

Carnegie Wave Energy has developed an innovative, proprietary wave energy technology called CETO.

The company is developing a number of wave power projects in Australia using the CETO technology. The Perth Wave Power Project is one of them.

The project is located offshore of Fremantle at about 25m water depth in the ocean between Garden Island and Five Fathom Bank. It is situated 3km offshore from HMAS Stirling, Australia's largest naval base. It is also located close to the National Centre of Excellence in Desalination (NCED), Rockingham.

Make-up of Western Australia wave energy plant

The offshore wave energy project is mainly made up of CETO units in water, high-pressure subsea pipelines to transfer the pressurised water onshore and a power generation system onshore.

The offshore structures are supported by pile foundations. In addition, the project involves connection of the onshore generation system to the grid network.

Financing of Australian wave energy development

The project is estimated to cost $31.2m. Carnegie received a $13.1m grant for the project from the Australian federal government under the emerging renewables programme (ERP). Another $7.3m was provided by the Western Australian government under the low emissions energy development (LEED) programme.

Private equity funding of $16.2m from the Australian Special Opportunity Fund managed by Lind Partners was also secured for the project.

An additional funding of $5.8m was secured in the form of private funding ($3.525m) and government grants ($2.26m) in November 2012. As of December 2012, the total government funding for the project was $17.7m.

Development of the Western Australia power project

The Perth project was officially launched in January 2010 at Carnegie's Wave Energy Research Facility in Fremantle. It is being delivered in two stages. The first stage, with 2MW peak capacity, was launched in 2010 and completed in April 2011. The second stage will have a capacity of 3MW at peak.

Performance evaluation of the Perth commercial demonstration project will help Carnegie to develop similar commercial scale projects and start earning revenues from this innovative renewable energy technology.

Since the project is located in the area near to the HMAS Stirling Naval Base, Carnegie entered into a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Department of Defence in January 2009 for the development and offtake of power and water for the project.

Contractors involved with the PWEP project

An MOU was signed with Hatch Engineering for the engineering, procurement, construction and management of the project.

The contract for the design of the turbine and generation system was awarded to Tyco Tamar. Two consultancies, namely RPS Consulting Engineers and Geomarine, were awarded the contract for the foundation design. The pipeline design contract was awarded to INTECSEA, a WorleyParsons Group company.

Keppel Prince Engineering (Keppel) is providing structural pile foundations and fabrication works for the project.

CETO unit attachment and foundation and CETO tether will be provided by Subsea Riser Products (SRP).

ABB Australia will supply Onshore Plant and Process Control System under a contract awarded in September 2013.

Stage one of construction

Construction of stage one of the projects began in 2010 and it has been operating successfully since April 2011. The jack-up rig for drilling the pile foundation for stage one was supplied by Boskalis Australia. Stage one was initially not connected to the grid. It was only operated as a stand-alone system for about 12 months for testing.

As part of stage one of the project, a commercial scale CETO unit was deployed in the Sepia Depression in 2010. The Sepia Depression is located between Garden Island and Five Fathom Bank.

The deployed system consisted of the mooring and a CETO unit. A telemetry instrumentation buoy was also installed to send data back to shore for confirmation and independent verification of the unit's performance.

Stage two of the project is currently under development.

Technology used at Carnegie Wave Energy's plant

The CETO power system is anchored to the ocean floor and operates out of sight. The technology involves tying up of an array of submerged buoys to seabed pump units.

"The project secured environmental and safety approvals in December 2012 following a two year environmental impact assessment."

The passing oceanic waves cause the buoys to move harmonically. The pumps are driven by the moving buoys, causing the water pressure to increase. The high-pressure water is carried to shore via a pipeline.

The pressurised water can be used to drive hydroelectric turbines to generate electricity. The entire process consumes zero electricity and causes zero emissions. The water can also be used to drive the pumps of a reverse osmosis plant for desalination, eliminating the consumption of electricity by the pumps.

The plants using CETO technology will have the least visual impact as most of the plant infrastructure and equipment is submerged.

In September 2012, Carnegie unveiled the design for a new CETO 5 unit to be used in the project. The new design incorporates significant improvements over the previous generation CETO units including CETO 3 and 4. The CETO 5 unit has a higher diameter of 11m compared with the 7m diameter of the CETO 3 unit. It has a rated capacity of around 240kW which is three times higher than that of CETO 3.

The project will reduce greenhouse gas emissions of more than 500,000t over its entire life. A unique feature of the CETO technology is that it is fully submerged underwater and also attracts marine life.

Grid network at HMAS Stirling

In July 2012, Carnegie and the Australian Department of Defence signed a power supply and purchase agreement, which gives it all the rights to purchase the electricity generated by the project.

The project will be connected to the grid network at HMAS Stirling.

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Schematic diagram of the Perth Wave Energy Project.
Jack-up rig (JUP) owned and operated by Boskalis Australia.
CETO 3 Buoyant Actuator. The CETO is an innovative wave power generation technology.
Buoyant Actuator of the Perth Wave Energy plant off-loaded prior to installation offshore.
CETO Buoyant Actuator during installation.
CETO pump and attachment being deployed off the barge.
CETO unit operational off Garden Island just after installation.