ARENA to back wave energy pilot project off Tasmania coast

UniWave wave energy converter. Image by Wave Swell (www.waveswell.com)

September 9 (Renewables Now) - The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) will provide AUD 4 million (USD 2.7m/EUR 2.5m) to support the installation of a pilot-scale wave energy converter developed by technology company Wave Swell Energy Ltd.

The 200-kW device, named UniWave 200, will be installed off the coast of Tasmania’s King Island where it will be integrated with a microgrid operated by local renewable power generator Hydro Tasmania.

The device, to be attached to the seabed, is an oscillating water column (OWC) system that operates unidirectionally. It has an opening on one side that allows waves to move in and out of the chamber. As the water rises and falls inside, it pushes the air to pass by a turbine at the top of the chamber, thus producing electricity.

The UniWave system is partially submerged and its only moving parts, the turbine and valves, are above the waterline.

The whole project will cost AUD 12.3 million to design, build, install and operate, ARENA said.

(AUD 1.0 = USD 0.69/EUR 0.62)

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