In its first wave energy investment, the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) has approved a $20 million loan to Carnegie Wave Energy Limited (Carnegie) to accelerate development of its CETO wave power technology.

Carnegie invented, developed and owns the CETO wave energy technology, a fully submerged system which allows it to better withstand the harsh ocean environment. The company is currently installing a CETO 5 system for the Department of Defence at Garden Island in Western Australia. This will be the first grid connected array globally and the first time any company has created a wave farm with multiple wave energy converters to produce electricity and fresh water. Carnegie has identified a number of other potential sites in Australia and overseas for implementation of its technology

CEFC CEO, Oliver Yates, said the CEFC’s participation in the project will help position Australia at the leading edge of the growing global wave energy sector. "Australia has arguably the best wave energy resources in the world, and the necessary skills to be a leader in the field. This is the technology of the future, with the potential to create new manufacturing and employment opportunities for Australia. It is critical that activity related to development and commercialisation of this technology remains in Australia and that our economy gets to realise its full benefits.

"CEFC has developed an innovative financing structure with Carnegie for this project that can be used to assist other developing renewable energy technologies," he said.

The CEFC’s finance will be used to develop the CETO 6 system which the company expects to be the commercial production version of their wave technology, capable of commercialisation and deployment globally in targeted markets.

Carnegie CEO and Managing Director, Dr Michael Ottaviano, said that CETO 6 is a significant step change in their technology and has potential to deliver reliable zero-emission electricity and potable desalinated water.

"This innovative funding structure from CEFC will help Carnegie take a significant step forward in our development and commercialisation of the CETO technology and put us in a better position to compete in the global, developing wave energy market," he said. "With our wave energy resource and technology capabilities particularly in the offshore oil and gas industries we believe there is significant potential for Australia to be a leader in this field which can create new industry and export opportunities."

Carnegie today announced that it has commenced the assembly and pre-installation testing phase of the CETO units at BAE Systems in Henderson, Western Australia.

The key equipment includes the three Buoyant Actuators that were yesterday delivered to the final pre-deployment location at BAE Systems in Henderson, WA. It is at this location where the Buoyant Actuators will be fitted out with instrumentation and energy relief systems prior to assembly to the balance of the CETO unit components (i.e. tethers, pumps, attachments and foundation connectors).

Photo: Three CETO 5 buoyant actuators at BAE Systems in Henderson, Western Australia (Credit: Carnegie Wave Energy)