Carnegie Wave Energy has signed a commitment agreement to secure the final berth at Wave Hub, the offshore renewable energy test facility in Cornwall, to demonstrate its next generation wave technology.
Carnegie’s UK arm, CETO Wave Energy UK plans to deploy a 3MW array of its next generation 1MW CETO 6 technology in 2016, with the option to expand to 10MW. It is the third customer to commit to Wave Hub in the last four months.
Carnegie’s plans will strengthen Wave Hub’s position at the forefront of pre-commercial array testing of wave energy devices in the world, with up to 30MW of installed capacity in the pipeline.
CETO, named after a Greek sea goddess, is a fully-submerged technology that produces high pressure water from the power of waves and uses it to generate clean electricity. It can also produce desalinated clean water.
Carnegie is currently building a grid connected three unit wave energy array in Western Australia using its CETO 5 device. CETO 6 will have four times more generating capacity and the company said the Wave Hub site provided more energetic sea conditions.
Carnegie’s Executive Director of European Business Development, Kieran O’Brien, said: “Securing a berth at Wave Hub provides Carnegie with a pre-developed site and installed grid connected infrastructure to test its CETO 6 commercial generation technology whilst leveraging off UK technical and commercial supply chain expertise in the heart of the marine renewables industry”.
Claire Gibson, managing director of Wave Hub, said: “We have seen an increase in demand from companies with advanced wave energy technology and have had to consider each of them carefully given we only had one berth remaining. Carnegie has an impressive track record, successfully developing their CETO technology from concept to a pre-commercial array in just 10 years. The company expects CETO 6 to be a commercial breakthrough and we are delighted they have decided to come to Wave Hub and benefit from the local expertise that is available in Cornwall. This brings to three the number of customers planning an array deployment at Wave Hub in the next few years with a potential generating capacity of 30MW.”
Cornwall Council Leader John Pollard, who is the local member for Wave Hub’s home port of Hayle and also a board member of the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership, welcomed the announcement: “It is fantastic news that CETO 6 will be part of the Hayle operation. I congratulate Wave Hub on securing this contract and fulfilling the intentions of the wave energy test facility which will now be fully utilised. This latest development is very significant for the whole region and Cornwall Council’s pioneering approach to developing energy from the sea. Carnegie Wave Energy’s work based in Hayle proves the international scope of the project and the fact this was a forward looking project. Today’s announcement is a fitting culmination of this phase of the life of Wave Hub. I look forward to the devices being attached and power being produced.”
Carnegie will occupy the last remaining berth at Wave Hub. Others have been reserved by UK-based Seatricity which plans to install a device this spring prior to building out a 10MW array in the next two years, and Finnish multi-national utilities firm Fortum which has reserved a berth for an array of up to 10MW and will shortly be confirming the wave technology they have selected.
Wave Hub is also the preferred location for the UK’s first offshore floating wind demonstrator project, which is being promoted by the Energy Technologies Institute working with The Glosten Associates, and could see installation start on site as early as next year.
Gibson added: “We will continue to work closely with the global wave energy industry to facilitate advancement of the sector and also with the local supply chain to harness the full benefit of Wave Hub’s unique testing facilities for the regional economy.”
Regen SW director Johnny Gowdy, who also programme manages the South West Marine Energy Park (SW MEP), highlighted the future opportunity for the marine energy sector in Cornwall and the south west: “Carnegie is exactly the sort of company that we hoped would come to Wave Hub, so today’s announcement is a tremendous step forward. It is critical now that we continue to invest in new infrastructure, innovation and our local industry in order to exploit this opportunity. We also need to look forward with a clear strategy to support further offshore demonstration areas and to enable future commercial projects.”