US$21 million bioWAVE MHK device deployed in Australia

Marine hydrokinetics (MHK) company BioPower Systems (BPS) reports it deployed its 250 kW bioWAVE pilot demonstration unit, Dec. 16, in the Southern Ocean off the southeastern coast of Australia near Port Fairy, Victoria.

The bioWAVE device is a 26-meter-tall oscillating structure designed to sway back-and-forth beneath the ocean swell, capturing energy from the waves and converting it into electricity that is fed into the grid via an undersea cable. The design was inspired by undersea plants and the entire device can lie flat on the seabed out of harm’s way during bad weather.

The US$21 million project was funded in part with $11 million from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) and $5 million from the Victorian government.

“Installation of the bioWAVE marks the culmination of an intensive development phase, and the beginning of a testing and demonstration phase for bioWAVE,” said Timothy Finnigan, BPS chief executive officer.

“We will now turn our attention to commissioning the plant for operation, and we aim to be delivering electricity into the grid very soon.”

Acting ARENA CEO, Ian Kay, said, “This is a major achievement for Australia’s emerging wave power industry and represents another ARENA-supported breakthrough in renewable energy innovation.”

Kay said the MHK device will be tested and monitored throughout its operation to produce an independent performance assessment that will be shared with the energy industry in line with ARENA’s knowledge sharing agenda.

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Gregory B. Poindexter is an associate editor for . He also provides social media updates via's Facebook , Twitter and LinkedIn accounts.

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