Carnegie Wave Energy has been awarded $2.5 million by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) to build the world’s first solar, battery and wave integrated microgrid project in Western Australia.
The $7.5 million Garden Island Microgrid Project will involve the construction and integration of 2MW of photovoltaic solar capacity and a 2MW/0.5MWh battery storage system, integrated with Carnegie’s CETO6 off-shore wave energy generation technology and existing desalination plant.
Carnegie’s system is a small-scale power grid designed to operate independently or in conjunction with the Western Australian electricity network’s main electrical grid, seamlessly transferring between two modes: off-grid and island mode. The two modes of operation will demonstrate the system’s future application for a range of fringe-of-grid and off-grid scenarios.
“The Garden Island Microgrid project will be the first time anywhere in the world that wave energy will be combined with solar and batteries in a microgrid configuration,” said Dr. Michael Ottaviano, Carnegie CEO.
According to ARENA CEO Igor Frischknecht, the project represents the next generation of Carnegie’s wave technology and is expected to demonstrate the viability of integrating a renewable energy-based microgrid with a utility-scale distribution network.
“If successful, this diverse technology system could set a great new export opportunity for Australia to island nations around the globe,” added Frischknecht.
Island nations regularly face costly and unreliable energy supply issues and are often reliant on expensive diesel fuel generators. Therefore, Carnegie believes nations such as Mauritius (where the company has operations) would be good candidates for the microgrid technology.
The Garden Island Microgrid Project will begin construction before the end of 2016 and be commissioned in the first half of 2017.