CHRISTOPHER RUSSELL, The Advertiser, February 11, 2009
Wave energy company Carnegie Corporation has been licensed by the Australian state government to explore the seabed off the southeast coast. It is the first license issued in South Australia for a company to search for suitable sites for wave-harnessing technology.
Carnegie Corporation, which has demonstration wave energy projects operating in Western Australia, has been licensed to search an area covering 17,000ha adjacent to Port MacDonnell.
The South Australia (SA) “coast receives a world class wave energy resource and further adds to SA’s leadership in developing renewable energy including wind, solar and geothermal,” Carnegie Corporation managing director Michael Ottaviano said.
In an announcement this morning to the Australian Securities Exchange, Carnegie noted any successful site in the Southeast would be near existing power infrastructure, enabling the company to tap into the national electricity market.
Australian Premier Mike Rann welcomed the company’s investment. “Wave power – like geothermal power – has the potential to provide a huge base load of sustainable energy in the future,” Mr Rann said.
The license, signed today, also allows Carnegie to investigate building a 50MW wave power station. Carnegie’s CETO system operates by using an array of submerged buoys tethered to seabed pumps and anchored to the ocean floor.
Mr Rann said whether Carnegie determines that Port MacDonnell is a suitable site will depend on its tests. “But Carnegie is one of several emerging companies taking up the challenge of providing a new form of base-load sustainable energy,” he said. “It is one of two companies looking to SA to trial its wave power technology along our coastline – and we want to encourage others to do the same.”
Mr Rann said SA was the “most attractive in Australia” for investors in renewable energy. “SA now has 58% of the nation’s installed wind generation capacity and more than 70% of the geothermal exploration activity,” he said. “I have directed my department to prepare a similar framework specifically for the wave and tidal sector.”