Wave of hope for energy

Gareth ThomasAlbany Advertiser

Albany is the best location in the world to build a wave energy farm, according to the chief of leading generator Carnegie Clean Energy.

The company’s managing director Mike Ottaviano told the Advertiser its plans for a project off Sandpatch, west of Albany, would move ahead with an underwater study if a WA Labor government is elected on March 11.

“We’ve been trying to work up a wave energy project in Albany for a long time,” he said.

“We’ve done sight surveys, we’ve done geophysical surveys, wave resource mapping, and there’s good connectivity.”

The company found Albany had one of the most consistent wave resources in the world, producing swell of more than 1m 99.7 per cent of the time.

“It’s been our opinion for a long time that Albany is the best location in the world for a wave farm,” Mr Ottaviano said.

“We don’t say that lightly, because we’ve done a lot of work globally on wave energy now.

“We’ve got island locations and a site in the UK and we’ve got £10 million ($16.2 million) in funding there, but the combination of the characteristics of Albany really do make it second to none.”

Labor have announced $19.5 million to develop “common user infrastructure” in Albany for energy companies to develop renewable energy if elected next month.

The infrastructure would allow Carnegie, and potential other generators, to connect to the existing grid.

“We would very much like to be deploying our commercial generation of technology at Albany … but what that requires, though, for first generation of renewable power is investment from Government,” Mr Ottaviano said.

“What Labor is proposing is the sort of Government support required to unlock a wave farm at Albany.”

Opposition leader Mark McGowan said Labor would also fund the creation of a Wave Energy Centre of Excellence in the region.

“Albany has some of the best sites for a wave energy farm in the country with reliable waves suitable for this emerging technology, providing a reliable base load energy source,” he said.

“A new common user facility will allow Carnegie and others to establish wave energy in Albany.”

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