Builder of Australian Wave Energy Microgrid Gets $21M Boost

Nov. 20, 2015
Australia’s fledging wave energy microgrid industry got a boost this week with $21 million in private financing from Commonwealth Bank of Australia.

Credit: Malene Thyssen

Australia’s fledging wave energy microgrid industry got a boost this week with $21 million in private financing from Commonwealth Bank of Australia.

Carnegie Wave Energy, a Western Australian company building what it describes as the world’s first wave energy microgrid, secured a minimum $1 million in debt financing for the 2-MW Garden Island Microgrid, and $20 million for development and commercialization of its wave energy technology.

The deal marks the first time an Australian company has secured private financing for wave energy.

The financial boost will help Carnegie Wave Energy as it positions to compete in the global wave energy market with its CETO technology, which converts wave energy into electricity and desalinated water. The technology is distinguished by its ability to operate underwater, which helps protect equipment during storms.

Carnegie is focusing on export to the UK, Europe and remote islands.

“This cost competitive capital from the CBA will help Carnegie take a significant step forward in our development and commercialization of the CETO technology, including the integration of CETO into a microgrid with other renewable energy sources,” said Aidan Flynn , Carnegie’s chief financial officer, announcing the deal Thursday. “This will put us in a strong position to compete in the global, developing wave energy market.”

Commonwealth Bank is providing a five-year $20 million loan facility for a 1 MW wave energy system called the CETO 6 Project.  It will replace a $20 million loan facility Carnegie has with the Australian’s Government’s Clean Energy Finance Corp.

The $1 million microgrid loan offers partial financing for a wave energy microgrid, which will be located on Garden Island in Western Australia, home of an Australian naval base.

The microgrid will incorporate the CETO 6 Project currently underway with an existing operating desalination plant, a new solar PV farm, energy storage and a sophisticated control system, according to Carnegie.

Carnegie expects to finance the microgrid through a combination of equity, grant funding and debt financing. It has signed an agreement with utility Western Power to deliver the grid-connected microgrid, with construction planned for next year.

Commonwealth Bank said it is financing wave energy in keeping with its mission to assist in the transition to a low carbon economy by supporting businesses and technologies that reduce dependence on fossil fuels

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About the Author

Elisa Wood | Editor-in-Chief

Elisa Wood is an award-winning writer and editor who specializes in the energy industry. She is chief editor and co-founder of Microgrid Knowledge and serves as co-host of the publication’s popular conference series. She also co-founded RealEnergyWriters.com, where she continues to lead a team of energy writers who produce content for energy companies and advocacy organizations.

She has been writing about energy for more than two decades and is published widely. Her work can be found in prominent energy business journals as well as mainstream publications. She has been quoted by NPR, the Wall Street Journal and other notable media outlets.

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