06 Sep 2011
RPS has now completed the initial studies into potential near-shore sites for commercial demonstration of Carnegie Wave Energy’s CETO wave energy unit, successfully identifying two possible sites that are viable for the unit array to be installed in and benefit the Irish ocean energy target.
The conceptual design and the site project study have been 50% funded by the energy developer, and 50% by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (under the Ocean Energy Prototype Research and Development Programme), and is managed by Carnegie’s Irish subsidiary: CETO Wave Energy Ireland.
RPS carried out a detailed site evaluation and conceptual design study examining grid connection feasibility, environmental sensitivities, wave resources, and structural issues for the installation of the innovative marine energy technology.
It is the primary phase of the project for a potential 5MW commercial demonstration in Irish waters. Ireland has set a national target to produce 33% of its energy from renewable resources by 2020, including 500MW from ocean energy. The Irish Government is providing grant funding for the research, development and deployment of tidal energy in Ireland –with an established €220/megawatt hour feed-in tariff for ocean energy.
The CETO wave energy units self-tune to sea-state and wave patterns. The installation is anchored to the ocean floor, and uses seabed pumps which are driven by submerged buoys. The pumps pressurise the water to a high-level and it is transferred to shore by pipeline where it will drive hydroelectric turbines to generate power. The high-pressure water can also supply a reverse osmosis water-desalination plant –removing the requirement for the electrically driven pumps (which emit greenhouse gases) that would normally serve such plants. Only a few wave energy technologies magnify wave pressure variations to produce fresh water from seawater.
Following the very positive results of the study, the Irish Government will continue to work with Carnegie and key stakeholders to progress the implementation of the project to trial the technology in Atlantic waters.
RPS has been engaged recently to assist Carnegie Wave Energy Limited to develop the new CETO 5 unit design. Dr. Nick Wells will be spending several weeks working on this assignment with the Carnegie team in their office in Perth, Australia.
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