Australia wave assessment finds economic 17,000 MW of wave energy

A wave power assessment of the southern Australia coast finds 170,000 MW of potential near-shore wave energy potential.

The independent report, commissioned by wave energy developer Carnegie Corp., estimates a �conservative� 10 percent of that amount -- 17,000 MW -- is economically extractable. Carnegie said that means 35 percent of Australia's current power usage could be met by wave energy.

The report, produced by ocean resource specialist RPS MetOcean, also says the potential wave energy has 97.5 percent availability, powered by the circumpolar Southern Ocean, making baseload wave generation possible. In a previous report, the theoretical unconstrained deep water wave resource for the area was estimated to be 500,000 MW, reflecting more exposed open ocean conditions in water depths greater than 50 meters.

Report data was obtained primarily from the globally utilized NOAA WaveWatch III wave modeling system and verified against actual wave measurements along Australia's southern coastline. The report provides further detail on 17 potential wave farm development sites, Carnegie said September 29.

The report was released at the launching of Carnegie's newly expanded CETO Wave Energy Research Facility in Fremantle. The first CETO II wave energy prototype achieved initial operation in February at the CETO test site off Fremantle. (HNN 2/12/08)

�Carnegie will use the RPS study to further inform commercial CETO site selection, which will be followed by more detailed site-specific modeling to determine the design and construction off any commercial wave energy generation site,� Carnegie Managing Director Michael Ottaviano said.

CETO features a wave power converter that sits on the seabed. It transmits high-pressure seawater ashore through a small pipe. The water is used either to power a turbine-generator or for reverse osmosis to produce fresh water.

In 2007, wave energy developer Renewable Energy Holdings plc (REH) approved agreements dividing exclusive global development territories for the CETO technology between Carnegie Corp. of Australia, in the Southern Hemisphere, and EDF Energies Nouvelles SA of France, in the Northern Hemisphere. (HNN 8/10/07)

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