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CEFC finance supports innovative Australian wave energy

19 March 2014


In its first wave energy investment, the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) provided a $20 million five-year loan facility to Carnegie Wave Energy Limited (Carnegie) to help accelerate the final stage of development for its CETO wave power technology.

CEFC CEO, Oliver Yates, said the CEFC's participation in the project will help position Australia at the leading edge of the growing global wave energy sector. 

"Australia has arguably the best wave energy resources in the world, and the necessary skills to be a leader in the field. This is the technology of the future, with the potential to create new manufacturing and employment opportunities for Australia. It is critical that activity related to development and commercialisation of this technology remains in Australia and that our economy gets to realise its full benefits," he said. 

"CEFC has developed an innovative financing structure with Carnegie for this project that can be used to assist other developing renewable energy technologies."

Carnegie invented, developed and owns the CETO wave energy technology that uses wave power to pump high pressure water that can be used to generate clean energy in the form of electricity and desalinated fresh water. It is a fully submerged system which allows it to better withstand the harsh ocean environment.

The company is currently installing a CETO 5 system for the Department of Defence at Garden Island in Western Australia. This will be the first grid connected array globally and the first time any company has created a wave farm with multiple wave energy converters to produce electricity and fresh water. Carnegie has identified a number of other potential sites in Australia and overseas for implementation of its technology.

The CSIRO assesses Australia's natural wave resources as very significant, with near shore wave energy between Geraldton and Tasmania equivalent to about five times Australia's total energy demand. Wave energy is considered to be the most concentrated and least variable form of renewable energy, with huge potential globally.

The CEFC's finance will be used to develop the CETO 6 system which the company expects to be the commercial production version of their wave technology, capable of commercialisation and deployment globally in targeted markets.

Carnegie CEO and Managing Director, Dr Michael Ottaviano,said that CETO 6 is a significant step change in their technology and has worldwide potential to deliver reliable zero-emission electricity and potable desalinated water.

"This innovative funding structure from CEFC will help Carnegie take a significant step forward in our development and commercialisation of the CETO technology and put us in a better position to compete in the global, developing wave energy market. With our wave energy resource and technology capabilities particularly in the offshore oil and gas industries we believe there is significant potential for Australia to be a leader in this field which can create new industry and export opportunities," Dr Ottaviano said.

"The CEFC's funding will help drive Carnegie faster to enable it to retain and capitalise on its leading global position."


ABOUT CARNEGIE WAVE ENERGY LIMITED

Carnegie Wave Energy Limited (Carnegie) (ASX:CWE) is the ASX-listed Australian inventor, owner and developer of the patented CETO wave energy technology that converts ocean swell into zero-emission renewable power and desalinated freshwater. In developing its technology, Carnegie employs unique rapid prototyping utilising computational simulation, wave tank testing, scaled in-ocean testing and commercial scale in-ocean testing at Garden Island, Western Australia.

CETO is designed to be the simplest and most robust wave technology globally and has undergone over 10 years and $80million of continuous development, testing and refinement. CETO is the only ocean-tested wave energy technology that is both fully submerged and generates power and/or desalinated water onshore. The CETO technology has been independently verified by EDF - Energies Nouvelles (EDF EN) and the French naval contractor DCNS as well as global engineering firm Frazer Nash.

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UPDATE 19 NOVEMBER 2015: The CEFC's loan was repaid in November 2015 when Carnegie sourced alternative private sector finance from Commonwealth Bank for its CETO 6 technology. The CEFC welcomes the investment of private sector lenders as a clear demonstration of Carnegie's business evolution.