In keeping with the company’s philosophy of minimising risk via a carefully staged approach to the development of its technology, Wave Swell Energy (WSE) will install a 200 kW wave energy device in a more benign wave climate on the eastern side of King Island, prior to the possible installation of a full-sized 1 MW version on the west coast of the island. This initial smaller project will bridge the gap between the tank testing and commercial phases of the technology’s development, consistent with the “best practice” methodology recommended for the marine renewable energy industry.
Many past failures in the sector have been attributed to transitioning too quickly from the R&D stage to the commercial phase. Doing so increases risk needlessly, as history has shown. WSE will use the 200 kW project to gain experience in deploying its devices in a safe and risk averse manner, conforming to the offshore industry’s established protocols for the transport and installation of large structures in the open ocean. The project will also provide an opportunity to fine-tune the operation of the device in an easily accessible location.
It is anticipated that this 200 kW project will be installed and operating before by mid-2020. Data from the project will validate the technology’s ability to produce electrical energy from ocean waves for under $100/MWh when 1 MW units are installed as part of a multi-device wave farm.