Photo: Illustration/CETO wave energy array (Courtesy of Carnegie Clean Energy)

Carnegie delivers ‘step change improvements’ in cost and performance of CETO wave tech

Carnegie Clean Energy has achieved its internal commercial target of reducing CETO wave energy technology’s cost of energy to a level that puts it on the established industry trajectory and reduces timeframe to reach commercialization.

Illustration/CETO wave energy array (Courtesy of Carnegie Clean Energy)
Illustration/CETO wave energy array (Courtesy of Carnegie Clean Energy)

Reaching this target signals the completion of the company’s Digital Development Pathway and escalation of commercialization activities.

The work undertaken as part of the program has delivered a step change improvement in cost and performance which will place CETO in a strong position on the industry pathway to provide commercially attractive offerings to customers, according to Carnegie.

The work conducted is expected to accelerate the uptake of CETO over the coming years by bringing the technology down the cost curve sooner, making it increasingly attractive to global markets.

As the technology progresses along its commercialization pathway, and as cost of energy decreases further, Carnegie envisages the addressable market for wave energy to expand, creating a growing adopting curve previously seen in the solar PV and offshore wind market expansions.

The Digital Development Pathway delivered several technical and commercial achievements, including significant reduction in the range of CETO costs over the previous iteration, Carnegie informed.

The effort and funds used to deliver the Digital Development Pathway enabled Carnegie to accomplish a substantial outcome that now propels CETO forward on its commercialization pathway and reduces the time and funds required to reach increased revenue generation, the company said.

Carnegie noted that this commercialization pathway is comparable to the historical progression of solar PV and offshore wind, whose learning rates and cost reductions trajectories look similar.

The company said it utilized its in-house cost model to evaluate the impact of the Digital Development Pathway innovations and track progress towards its commercial target.

The model draws upon a variety of sub models that simulate power capture and analyze CAPEX and OPEX together with uncertain but reasonable assumptions around learning rates, discount rates and the market support to drive growing deployment.

Given the importance of this modelling, Carnegie engaged advisory services firm, BDO Corporate Finance, to provide a third-party overview. According to the company, the results of the modelling reinforce its business plan to further advance the CETO technology.

Jonathan Fiévez, Carnegie’s CEO, said: “We are extremely pleased to have met our internal cost and performance target, delivering a step change reduction in the projected CETO cost of energy since the introduction of our Digital Development Pathway two years ago.

“In addition to capital cost reductions, the team at Carnegie has been able to deliver up to a 30% increase in simulated energy capture performance, alongside projected improvements in reliability and operational efficiency. Joining forces with industry partners such as HPE has been mutually beneficial and helped to deliver beyond our expectations.

“This achievement is a key milestone to showcase how wave energy can become a commercially competitive and widely adopted technology and follow a similar trajectory to other comparable marine renewables, such as offshore wind.”

Commercial competitiveness of CETO and the way forward

Cost of energy vs deployment relationship for wave industry (as per 2015 EC trajectory) and CETO (using outputs from models). According to Carnegie, this demonstrates the Digital Development Pathway delivered significant value by unlocking a path to greater commercial opportunities (Courtesy of Carnegie Clean Energy)
Cost of energy vs deployment relationship for wave industry (as per 2015 EC trajectory) and CETO (using outputs from models). According to Carnegie, this demonstrates the Digital Development Pathway delivered significant value by unlocking a path to greater commercial opportunities (Courtesy of Carnegie Clean Energy)

Over the past two years, Carnegie has been focused on driving key cost centers down and making design choices to achieve commercial competitiveness for CETO technology.

The combination of system optimization, incorporation of industrially proven components and leveraging advances in Artificial Intelligence (AI) to deliver intelligent control have been instrumental in these improvements, the company said.

To realize substantial performance improvements, Carnegie has applied advances in control theory and AI that optimize power generation in a broad array of sea states to dramatically increase the amount of energy extracted from each wave.

The company’s suite of proprietary software and codes has grown considerably in the past 18 months to include a machine learning-based Wave Predictor technology and a variety of controllers based on model predictive control and reinforcement learning.

These tools have delivered up to 30% rise in energy capture performance over previous iterations, Carnegie claims.

Additionally, the new controllers are said to be providing low cost or no cost solutions to extreme wave scenarios by ensuring smart responses that avoid damaging forces, typically a major cost driver for wave energy converters.

Carnegie said that step-change reductions in cost have been achieved through the adoption of a direct electrical conversion architecture for the power take-off (PTO) which also avoids conversion losses seen in previously hydraulic designs. The number of components or ‘part count’ is reduced, contributing to lower costs and higher reliability, according to Carnegie.

Lastly, the operation and maintenance methodologies have been tuned to minimize cost and maximize speed to return the system to full capacity.

Carnegie’s team has determined that the CETO wave energy technology is poised for commercialization following the example of offshore wind, solar and other emerging technologies.

The company said it will continue to advance its full suite of products over the coming years, including MoorPower and Wave Predictor, while seeking to establish long-term commercial partnerships.

In the coming weeks, the company said it will be releasing a new Product Roadmap outlining the product targets and milestones to be progressed over the next 18-24 months. The EuropeWave PCP program and the MoorPower project will form the basis of Carnegie’s roadmap.

According to Carnegie, its future plans have been developed with the goals of validating our technologies, building strategic partnerships and bringing forward revenue streams from our products.

As we continue to progress on our commercialization pathway, and now with multiple complementary product offerings in MoorPower and Wave Predictor, our addressable market will progressively expand to make wave energy attractive in an increasing number of global markets.

“We are also aware that providing a commercially attractive CETO offering is not just about cost but is also driven by the growing recognition of the additional value and services provided by wave energy,” Fiévez concluded.

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