Australian wave-energy desalination pilot to get funding

Australia’s Carnegie Wave Energy announced on 28 February 2013 that it had received a government grant of Aus$ 1.27 million (US$ 1.30 million) to support a wave-powered seawater desalination demonstration project.

The funding, from the Clean Technology Innovation Program will support the design and construction of a plant to produce fresh water using Carnegie’s CETO technology, which uses submerged buoys tethered to seabed pump units.

The aim is to demonstrate that desalination driven by CETO wave energy has the potential to significantly and sustainably reduce the amount of electricity consumed and associated greenhouse gas emissions produced by seawater desalination.

The grant was announced in Rockingham by Greg Combet, federal minister for climate change and efficiency, industry and innovation and Gary Gray, special minister of state and federal member for Brand.

The CETO desalination pilot will be co-located with Carnegie’s Perth Wave Energy Project (PWEP) on Garden Island, integrating off-the-shelf reverse-osmosis desalination technology with the PWEP infrastructure. Carnegie’s PWEP is due to begin construction shortly with power production due to commence in early 2014.

The construction and commissioning of the desalination pilot will follow power production. Carnegie’s existing licence agreement with the Australian Department of Defence makes provision for the production and supply of freshwater from PWEP to the HMAS Stirling navy base on Garden Island.

The grant is subject to a number of conditions including the drafting and signing of a funding agreement, an AusIndustry review of the project budget, Carnegie completing the site characterisation and project design, as well as the delivery of Carnegie’s Perth Wave Energy Project.

Carnegie’s Chief Operating Officer, Greg Allen said, “We look forward to working with AusIndustry to finalise the details of the project and its planned integration into our existing PWEP.”