South Australia now has 58% per cent of the nation’s installed wind power capacity and more than 70% of Australia’s geothermal exploration activity. According to Premier Mike Rann, the state is currently on track to reach its target of renewable energy generated and consumed in South Australia to reach 20 per cent by 2014. The state will also soon host a wave power farm.
Wave energy developer Carnegie Corporation Limited announced last week the signing of a license agreement with the Government of South Australia to investigate a suitable site for the development of a wave energy power test project, with a view to building a demonstration 50 MW wave power station. The license area covers approximately 17,000 ha of seabed west of Douglas Point to Danger Point and extending out 3 nautical miles.
Carnegie Corporation’s Managing Director Dr Michael Ottaviano says the South Australian coast receives a world class wave energy resource and a wave project developed at the site has the potential to be connected into the National Electricity Market which supplies power to the majority of Australians.
Carnegie will be using Renewable Energy Holdings’ CETO wave power system that operates out of sight and is anchored to the ocean floor. Submerged buoys are tethered to a seabed pump and move in harmony with the motion of the passing waves, driving the pumps which pressurise seawater that is delivered ashore via a pipeline. The high-pressure seawater is then used to drive turbines, generating clean electricity. The system has an additional benefit – seawater can also be used to supply a reverse osmosis desalination plant, replacing electricity intensive pumps usually required for such plants.
According to the company, there is enough wave energy on the planet to power the world twice over and Australia has the best wave energy resource of any country.