World's first wave-powered desalination plant now operational in Perth

Friday, 16 November 2018
The CETO system is a wave energy solution which operates underwater converting ocean wave energy into zero-emission electricity and desalinated water.

Australian wave energy developer Carnegie Wave Energy has announced the world's first wave-powered seawater reverse osmosis desalination plant is now fully integrated and operational.

The wave-powered desalination pilot plant is co-located with its Perth Wave Energy Project, on Garden island. While the desalination plant was originally running off the conventional electricity grid, the integration with the CETO wave energy power plant means the desalination plant is now able to run both off the grid and directly off hydraulic power provided by the wave energy power plant, or a combination of both.

The CETO system is a wave energy solution which operates underwater, converting ocean wave energy into zero-emission electricity and desalinated water. Unlike conventional surface-type wave energy generators, submersion protects it from large storms. It is also invisible from the shore, and located in areas away from breaking waves and beach goers.

Carnegie Wave Energy timed its announcement to coincide with the National Water Week. As part of the occasion, Carnegie's Chief Operating Officer, Greg Allen, presented the first bottle of wave-powered desalinated water produced from the plant to the Western Australian Minister for Water, the Hon. Mia Davies MLA, at the Australian Water Association's (AWA) Annual Western Australian Conference.

The containerised seawater reverse osmosis desalination pilot plant co-located with the Perth Wave Energy Project was manufactured and supplied by MAK Water Industrial Solutions (MAK Water). It is capable of 150 m3/day potable water production off CETO project or off grid.

The solution includes a beach bore for seawater intake, outfall line for brine discharge, potable water storage, and re-calcification and chlorination system. It was commissioned off electricity grid in February, 2015, but is now fully integrated with the wave energy desalination pilot plant.

Carnegie Wave Energy has spent $118m to date on CETO, over six prototype cycles. The Garden Island project consists of three CETO 5 units, an onshore power plant and grid connection, onshore reverse osmosis desalination pilot plant, and a power and water offtake agreement with the Australian Department of Defence.

With over 14,000 cumulative operational hours since November 2014, the project has demonstrated the fast installation of the units in less than a day, and the ability of the CETO units to power not just the desalination plant, but also to deliver power to the grid.

The Perth Project is the first wave project to produce clean power and fresh water anywhere in the world. The Desalination Pilot Plant is supported by a $1.27m AusIndustry grant, under the Clean Technology Innovation Program.

Carnegie has signed an agency agreement, where it will act as the exclusive agent for MAK Water in South America, as well as remote islands, in order to provide high quality, containerised desalination solutions in these locations.

According to the company, the first project is already underway, with MAK Water’s desalination experts already starting a technical review, site upgrades and capital replacement at four sites on remote Indian Ocean Islands.