Undersea wave energy may soon be harnessed

November 12, 2015 0 By Angie Bergenson

Researchers make undersea renewable energy breakthrough.

Carnegie Wave Energy and Western Power have teamed up to develop the first wave energy island microgrid in Australia, which could result in technology, known as the CETO 6 Project, that has the capability of harnessing the power of underwater waves, reported Nature World News.

Buoys under water will transfer energy from waves to onshore hydroelectric power plants.

The CETO 6 Project will be constructed six miles off the coast of a small Australian island located near Perth, known as Garden Island. The renewable energy island micro grid project will consist of CETO units, fully submerged buoys called buoyant actuators. These buoys will be secured to a pump attached on the seafloor. The buoyant actuators register the sea’s wave energy and direct it to the seafloor pumps via the attached tether.

The buoys will be designed to transfer wave energy into pressurized fluid, which will be used at hydroelectric power plants located onshore.

The underwater wave energy project is predicted to generate enough energy to power up to 3,000 homes.

Wave Energy - Undersea ImageThe developers of the CETO 6 project predict that it will be able to power between 2,000 to 3,000 homes. That said, for the time being, all electricity that is generated from the project will be sent to a desalination plant located on Garden Island and the Australian Defense Department.

Carnegie CEO Michael Ottaviano said in a new release that the company sees “great potential to integrate its world leading CETO wave technology into islands as well as fringe of grid applications wherever there is a strong wave resource.”

According to Carnegie, preliminary tests of the project have been successful. The company also said that its island power projects will “involve integrating CETO with other renewable energy power sources, desalination plants, diesel generation and increasingly energy storage.”

Ottaviano stated that for establishing wave power projects, “Western Australia presents itself as an attractive option.”These types of renewable energy projects in coastal communities could be a smart alternative to building and maintaining long transmission lines.

It will be interesting to see just how successful Carnegie Wave Energy and Western Power’s CETO 6 project will be and whether or not this renewable project will have any negative impacts on the ocean’s wildlife and environment.