Victoria's Waves Power Up Communities

29 October 2009

Using one of the best wave and energy resources in the world, Australian company Oceanlinx, via its Nelson Bay Ocean Energy subsidiary, is working to harness renewable wave energy to power up to thousands of Victorians in coastal communities.


The large-scale demonstration project trials the latest of Oceanlinx-designed Wave Energy Converter (WEC) technology and will be located in Portland, in Victoria’s west. The technology, capable of generating over 2.5MW per WEC, can provide a few thousand households with electrical energy. Oceanlinx’s investors include the Centre for Energy and Greenhouse Technologies (CEGT), a pool of funds allocated by the Victorian Government and managed on its behalf by Cleantech Ventures.


The centre focuses exclusively on the development of new sustainable energy and greenhouse gas reduction technologies to a pre-commercial stage. Through the Energy Technology Innovation
Strategy (ETIS), CEGT has received A$29.25 million. Since commencing operation in 2003, CEGT has received over 1,000 applications for funding and achieved a funding base of around 1:7 government-to-private funds.According to Ali Baghaei, CEO of Oceanlinx, ocean power is an untapped renewable resource
that has not been as widely researched or used as
solar or wind.


“Wave power has the potential to be the number two clean energy
source in the world after wind. The sea is a more balanced resource
than the sun or wind, allowing a near constant flow of energy.”


The Oceanlinx OWC project is expected to take between 12 to 18 months to develop and then be implemented in a commercial demonstration form. The company is working closely with the local Portland community and stakeholders to secure the necessary environmental permits required for the project.


When successful, the project has the potential to be developed into a wave energy conversion array with an installed capacity of around 30MW, creating more jobs for the region as well as opportunities for local manufacturers in making the WEC units. This will be the first large scale wave farm in the world.


“This technology by Oceanlinx is truly unique. It has a low environmental impact, yet can be easily deployed on a large scale very effectively,” the CEO said. “There is also the opportunity not only to generate electricity but also act as a desalination plant, which would be highly beneficial to Victorian communities battling with increased power rates and the ever prevalent drought.”


Oceanlinx anticipates that each of its WEC units will save thousands of tonnes of carbon dioxide and sulphur dioxide emissions annually.
The global wave energy market could save more than one billion tonnes of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere each year, in comparison to coal-generated power. As it requires no fuel and produces no waste or pollution, wave power is seen as an ideal
renewable energy alternative. Ali Baghaei says that if the trial is successful, Victorian regional coastal cities would stand to benefit greatly from this technology as a power source and shift their dependence away from coal fired generation.“Victoria’s terrain is the place to be for wave power,” Ali Baghaei said.


“The state is well-known for its strong innovation and greenhouse
policy framework. This has managed to attract world-class companies with revolutionary clean energy technologies to base their operations and research and development here.”


Ali Baghaei believes that new developers and companies can expect to receive valuable help from the Victorian Government. “In our dealings with the Victorian Government to date, we’ve received excellent assistance and advice, from support in securing the necessary permits needed for the project to recommendations on suitable sites,” Ali Baghaei said. “Victoria’s Department of Primary Industries and ETIS have been instrumental in propelling this Oceanlinx project forward. We’re extremely excited by the vast opportunities for this wave power and water project and are confident that this will help put Victoria on the world map as a force to be reckoned with in the development of wave power technology.”

“The state is well-known for its strong innovation and greenhouse policy framework. This has managed to attract world-class companies with revolutionary clean energy technologies to base their operations and research and development here.”

Ali Baghaei, Oceanlinx CEO & MD 


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