Wave Swell wins funding for wave power scheme

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) will provide $4 million to Melbourne’s Wave Swell Energy to install a pilot-scale wave energy converter in Tasmania.

The company’s “oscillating water column” (OWC) technology will be installed at a site off King Island and connected to an existing microgrid operated by Hydro Tasmania.

The $12.3 million pilot project will see the design, construction, installation and operation of Wave Swell’s UniWave 200, a 200kW wave energy device.

The device will be partially submerged with an opening to allow the movement of the waves in and out of a main chamber.

Water rises and falls inside the chamber, forcing air to pass through a turbine, generating electricity.

Wave Swell Energy CEO, Dr Tom Denniss said: “The project, aimed at demonstrating the commercial viability of the technology, is expected to be the first of many wave energy projects utilising this unique world leading intellectual property.

“ARENA’s role in the King Island project represents a vital component of the ultimate commercialisation of the technology.”

ARENA chief executive Darren Miller said wave energy was relatively predictability and consistent, making it particularly useful in reducing the need for battery storage in isolated microgrids.

Miller said: “The tidal and wave sector in Australia is still in the early demonstration phase. Wave Swell’s unique approach to wave energy will gain valuable knowledge and help to see whether this is a viable option for generating renewable energy.”

Picture: Wave Swell Energy

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