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30 September 2016

World’s first island micro-grid created in Australia

An island off Western Australia will be powered by the world’s first renewable energy island micro-grid which combines wave energy, solar energy and energy storage.

Perth-based wave energy developer Carnegie Wave Energy Limited announced this week that it has received $2.5 million in funding from the Australia Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) to support the project.

The system, named the Garden Island Micro-grid project, will be the world’s first wave energy integrated micro-grid which will also produce both power and desalinated water.

Together, the project will form a micro-grid which will operate either independently or in cooperation with the Western Australian electricity network, being able to seamlessly switch between two modes: off-grid and island mode.

Dr Michael Ottaviano, CEO of Carnegie, said: “The Garden Island Micro-grid Project will be the first time anywhere in the world that wave energy will be combined with solar and batteries in a micro-grid configuration.”

He added:“The demonstration of this micro-grid project will help drive the commercialisation of CETO and will be a model we will roll out to island nations around the world. We look forward to completing the outstanding elements of the Project including final approvals, construction award and power offtake in order to commence the Project, as soon as possible.”

Ivor Frischknecht, CEO of ARENA, spoke of the project’s long-term implications: “It will be the first time wave energy will be integrated into a micro-grid, and if successful this diverse technology system could set a great new exportable opportunity for Australia to island nations around the globe.”

 He added: “With limited land available, wave energy generation supported by a reliable micro-grid of battery storage and solar PV could be a better, cheaper, and more sustainable way to power remote coastal or island communities long-term, displacing their reliance on diesel fuel.”

The Garden Island Micro-grid Project will begin construction before the end of 2016 and be commissioned in the first half of 2017.

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