Wave energy research surges ahead

Group of people with model of wave energy device.

Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan visited Discovery Bay in Albany in August to announce a $1.55 million State Government investment in a King George Sound wave energy test site.

The project is a $4.8 million initiative by the Wave Energy Research Centre, the Australian Government’s Blue Economy Cooperative Research Centre and the Australian Ocean Energy Group. It aims to confirm the suitability of King George Sound as a test site for wave-driven energy devices.

The tests will use a small-scale moored multimodal multibody (M4) attenuator. The M4 is a non-commercial device, developed by the University of Manchester, which will test wave energy technology as a renewable energy source for local aquaculture and position Albany in the international 'blue economy' community.

A 25m prototype of the device will be built locally and used to test the potential for wave activity to feed electricity into microgrids. The initiative could lead to Albany hosting a commercial ocean wave energy demonstration site.

UWA Wave Energy Research Centre (WERC) director Christophe Gaudin said the device could be deployed from October 2022. It will be located offshore from Discovery Bay.

Photo: Albany MLA Rebecca Stephens, WERC manager Wiebke Ebeling, WERC director Christophe Gaudin, Minister MacTiernan and Blue Economy research director Professor Irene Penesis with a model of the proposed M4 attenuator.

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