World’s First Grid-Connected Wave Generator Kicks into Gear in Australia

by Carolyn Sotka

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Image provided by Carnegie Wave Energy.

Off the coast of Perth, Australia, Carnegie Wave Energy has switched on a pilot project to feed wave-generated electricity into a local Western Australia grid and provide energy to over 2,000 homes. After a decade of research and development, CETO, named after a Greek goddess of the sea, converts ocean swell into zero-emission renewable power and zero-emission desalinated freshwater. Coastal areas with high energy demands or hard hit by drought over the last few years such as California, could benefit enormously from this technology.

According to Ivor Frischknecht, CEO of the Australian Renewable Energy Agency, “This is the first array of wave power generators to be connected to an electricity grid in Australia and worldwide.” The Agency has provided $13 million of the $32 million project.

The wave farm uses pressure from the waves to turn turbines and generate electricity. Wave energy may be a better choice than solar or wind because it can produce a nearly constant supply both day and night. Carnegie Wave Energy plans to launch a larger pilot in 2017.

Check out the Science Alert article and the ABC News Perth coverage below to learn more about the wave farm. — CS

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