Australia's Carnegie Wave Energy secures vital project funding

Australia’s Carnegie Wave Energy has secured A$31.7m ($33.1m) of government and private funding to proceed with its flagship pilot project near Perth, sending its shares up nearly 20%

The federal government will provide A$9.9m towards the project through its A$126m Emerging Renewables Program, while Western Australia’s state government has promised A$5.5m through its Low Emissions Energy Development scheme.

New York -based institutional investor The Lind Partners is chipping in with a further A$16.3m.

Stock exchange-listed Carnegie is developing a 2MW pilot project in and around Garden Island, which it hopes will be the first grid-connected demonstration of its Ceto technology.

Ceto consists of an array of submerged buoys that pump high-pressure water to onshore hydroelectric turbines.

The company is starting detailed design immediately and will seek all government approvals required for the construction and operation of the project. Construction and commissioning is expected in 2013, with first power due for delivery into the grid at the end of that year.

Chief executive Dr Michael Ottaviano says government support allows Carnegie to deliver its first revenue-generating wave project in its own backyard.

“There is enormous global demand for a reliable wave energy technology from industry and government alike,” he says.

Carnegie has signed memorandums of understandings (MOUs) covering the supply of power from the Perth project with both the Australian Department of Defence and the WA-government owned power retailer, Synergy. It expects to finalise agreements soon.

Carnegie shares were up 18.6% at $0.051 in mid-afternoon trading.