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The Australian government has announced it will use its $126 million Emerging Renewables fund to invest almost $10 million in two new Australian-developed wave technology systems, one of which claims to be the largest ever wave energy turbine.
Martin Ferguson, the Resources and Energy Minister, believes that “wave energy is still very much an emerging technology and this funding will position Australia as a global leader in developing this technology.”
$5.6 million will be invested in a 250kW plant developed by BioPower Systems. The new construct will use bioWAVE technology to create renewable energy off the coast of Victoria. Another $4 million will be granted to Oceanlinx, who are looking to install a 1MW demonstration of its GreenWave technology.
Tim Finnigan, the CEO of BioPower, said that the government funding now means that the project has raised the required $15 million and can proceed with the constructions and installation. “This puts us into a position to complete the project, get it on the grid, and prove the technology at scale.”
Finnigan’s long term goal with BioPower is to bring the cost of wave energy down to the same level as wind energy. They already have a four stage plan to reach this level before 2020. This means a capital cost of about $2 million/megawatt, and a levelised cost of energy (LCOE) of about $100/MWh.
Oceanlinx believe that their GreenWave unit is the first ever to be rated as 1MW, and that the large size, coupled with the high efficiency allows it to operate with a LCOE of just 28cents/kWh. Ali Baghaei, CEO of Oceanlinx, has high hopes for his companies new technology, saying that they are “finally getting to final stages of the journey, and hopefully by showing something at a commercial scale people can see it, touch it and smell it, and then the technology can take its own course through commercialisation.”
By. Charles Kennedy of Oilprice.com
Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com