Developed by Carnegie Wave Energy, the underwater CETO project is named after a Greek goddess of the sea. It doesn't only convert ocean waves into zero-emission renewable power, but it's also capable of providing desalinated freshwater.
A year ago, the first electricity grid-connected wave power station was installed off the coast of Autralia, where oceanic wave energy is the open, free source of pretty much unlimited power. The Perth Project was the kind of a solution that could, as estimates go, provide more than ten times the power that is required to cover all the power needs of Australia.
According to Carnegie Wave Energy, the inventor, developer and 100% owner of the CETO wave energy technology, the Perth Project was the first demonstration of a complete grid-connected CETO system anywhere in the world, the only wave project to consist of three units operating together in an array and the only wave project to produce both power and freshwater.
And what exactly is CETO? It's a unique, fully submerged, pumpbased technology whereby a submerged buoy moves with the ocean's waves, 1–2 metres below the surface of the ocean, driving a pump.
The CETO 5 energy system has been operating for a year now, generating clean energy with the high-pressure water driving a turbin. The project is also the world first wave powered desalination plant, desalinating water in order for it to be fit for human consumption. Having even set a record for achieving over 14,000 in-ocean hours across 12 months, the operational phase of this project is now complete and all CETO 5 units have now been safely retrieved and transported back ashore for inspection and decommissioning, as well as making final analysis of key engineering and environmental data collected across all four seasons.
What is to come? CETO 6, Carnegie's commercial platform, which is supported by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) and will also be located offshore from Garden Island in Western Australia, is set for construction in 2016. CETO 6 Garden Island Project is expected to deliver approximately four times the rated capacity of the previous generation, targeted at 1MW for each unit.