WSE is embarking on a comprehensive technology enhancement program called Project Bluefire.
Project Bluefire will include using real data generated from the grid connection of UniWave200 at King Island. The unit first generated electrical energy into the Hydro Tasmania grid on June 18, 2021. The UniWave200 is designed to prove the cost effectiveness of the technology for larger capacity commercial projects of 1 MW or more. It has been operating in a wide range of sea states which has included the continuous and autonomous exporting of power. The UniWave200 is now contributing to the mix of energy resources used to power the homes and industries of King Island.
Cost effectiveness may initially be achieved by displacing diesel power generation in remote locations and/or integrating the units into new or existing breakwaters. However, the eventual aim is to be cost competitive with other forms of renewables at grid scale. Established evidence around technology learning rates will be used to estimate how much installed capacity is required to achieve this.
The intended outcomes of Project Bluefire include:
- a validated software simulation tool that will model any resource and output the expected annual yield
- an advanced OWC with significant efficiency improvements over the current UniWave200
- the detailed design of the next generation cost effective UniWave structure; and
- design and incorporate an electrical system that is more efficient and cost effective at scale. An energy storage module has installed in the King Island unit.
These innovations are expected to increase the energy output of WSE devices, lower the cost of energy generation, and broaden the market applicability of the WSE technology by making it suitable for use in a wider range of locations.