Albany wave site undergoes survey scrutiny

The past months have seen progress made on the site-specific design and development for the Albany Wave Energy Project (AWEP), the developer behind the project, Carnegie Clean Energy, informed.

Namely, the detailed measurement of the wave resource at the offshore site has been taking place for over two months from the installation of Carnegie’s wave buoy at a site approximately 1.5 kilometers offshore from the existing Albany wind farm.

The data buoy is deployed in 30 meters of water depth and is measuring wave height, period and energy spectra and is transmitting this data to Carnegie’s CETO team, the Australian-based developer Carnegie Clean Energy said.

Wave data gathered at the deployment site feeds into the CETO 6 unit design and also supports the development of the project’s installation, operations and maintenance design and planning, according to Carnegie.

Significant wave event captured by Carnegie’s wave buoy in December 2017. The Hmax (maximum wave height) reached 6.8 meters, according to Carnegie (Image: Carnegie Clean Energy)

In addition, the University of Western Australia (UWA) completed a metocean modelling study for the project and deployed an acoustic wave and current meter (AWAC).

The activities were done through the Wave Energy Research Centre (WERC) which was established in association with Carnegie’s AWEP, Carnegie said.

These activities help characterize the yearly wave conditions and extreme events that could be experienced at the offshore site.

“The detailed knowledge of the nearshore wave field feeds into many aspects of the project design and delivery including management of extreme loads and identifying safe working conditions,” Carnegie said.

Through WERC, UWA will also soon deploy two additional wave buoys at strategic locations which will help calibration of the Metocean modelling work, according to Carnegie.

Carnegie and its contractors have also been undertaking environmental site inspections and appraisals, grid connection studies and site surveys which will continue as part of the project’s approvals, permitting and consultation processes.

Onshore site inspections and surveys in Albany (Photo: Carnegie Clean Energy)

Upcoming activities on site include geophysical and geotechnical surveys which will help further characterize the deployment site, Carnegie announced.

The company added that ‘good progress’ has also been made on the cable design, including installation and route options for the cable installation at the AWEP site.

Carnegie added that the consultation with specific project stakeholders and engagement with the local supply chain has begun and local community consultation activities will be undertaken over the next few months.

The Albany Wave Energy Project (AWEP) involves the design, manufacture and install of the first CETO 6 unit in Carnegie’s existing license area offshore from Torbay and Sandpatch in Albany during the 2019/2020 summer weather window.

The project will also deliver common user infrastructure at the Albany site which Carnegie will make available for other wave energy industry developers once AWEP is complete, Carnegie said.

AWEP is supported by Au$15.75 million ($12.2 million) from the Western Australian Government’s Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development and Au$11.7 million ($9 million) of undrawn funding from Carnegie’s CETO 6 grant from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA).