Feb 23 (Renewables Now) - The Western Australian State Labor party has pledged to spend AUD 19.5 million (USD 15m/EUR 14.2m) on energy infrastructure in Albany, which could lead to the realisation of a 100-MW-plus wave power project.
WA Labor made the commitment ahead of next month’s elections. It said in a statement that the infrastructure will be paid for by reallocating funds from the failed Albany-to-Bunbury gas pipeline project. The Labor party wants to build common user infrastructure to enable energy companies to develop their technology and facilitate the deployment of wave farms.
"Under our plan, Albany will become a renewable energy city and will lead the way in renewables in this State, creating hundreds of jobs for Western Australians,” WA Labor leader Mark McGowan commented.
Aussie sector player Carnegie Clean Energy Limited (ASX:CCE) said separately that the potential investment would benefit the first commercial-scale wave farm in Australia. The project will be implemented in stages, starting with a 1-MW system and proceeding with a 20-MW wave farm that would result in more than AUD 100 million of local investment.
Carnegie, which is the developer of the CETO wave technology, said that a successful demonstration of the wave farm could lead to a 100-MW expansion. The company noted it has been working on plans for a wave power plant in Albany for almost a decade and already has a site license for a project offshore from Torbay and Sandpatch. The scheme is pending environmental approvals, a planning consent (DAP) and grid connection clearance.
“Unlike other power technologies where Australia has become a “technology taker”, wave has the potential to build an industry we can commercialise locally and export globally,” Carnegie’s managing director Michael Ottaviano said.
If elected, the McGowan Labor government will work with Carnegie and the University of Western Australia (UWA) to also establish a Wave Energy Centre of Excellence in Albany.
(AUD 1.0 = USD 0.773/EUR 0.731)