A collaborative $4.8 million project to build the first commercial Ocean Wave Energy Market Demonstration Site in the southern hemisphere has been supported by the Western Australian government, in efforts to further develop renewable energy technologies.
The aim is for the UWA Wave Energy Research Centre and the federal government-funded Blue Economy Cooperative Research Centre to confirm the suitability of King George Sound as an Albany test site for wave energy devices. This will be achieved through deploying a reduced scale wave attenuator nicknamed “M4.”
It will test wave energy technology as a renewable energy source for local aquaculture and position Albany in the international “blue economy” community, stimulating further research and industry investment and flow-on benefits to Great Southern businesses.
“This Albany Wave Energy Demonstration proposal reinforces Albany and Western Australia as a leading research hub and test location as this important technology continues to emerge,” Regional Development minister Alannah MacTiernan said.
“This proposal will drive investment in wave energy technology, which has great potential as an alternative renewable energy source – especially as electricity grids evolve towards integrated renewable energy systems and microgrids.”
It builds on the Wave Energy Research Centre’s international reputation for world-leading research and its strong regional community outreach, and Albany’s excellent wave resource and potential to support the ocean energy industry.
The Western Australian government is contributing $1.55 million, with an additional $1 million of in-kind support from the Australian Ocean Energy Group.
“The project will prove up the wave suitability of King George Sound for smaller, floating wave energy devices for use by local industry,” MacTiernan said.
“Importantly, the project will support Great Southern businesses, with more than 80 per cent of the government contribution to the project being reinvested locally.”