BPS installs bioWAVE off Australia

BioPower Systems (BPS) has deployed its 250 kW bioWAVE pilot demonstration wave energy unit off Port Fairy, Victoria, Australia.

The bioWAVE was deployed by a crane-equipped ship, which transported the device to the site and lowered it into the water.

The structure was angled slightly, piercing the surface like a diver to avoid any impacts from the waves, before being levelled out and landed on the seabed. Divers monitored the process from below to ensure accurate placement, according to Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA).

Timothy Finnigan, BPS CEO, said: “Installation of the bioWAVE in the Southern Ocean marks the culmination of an intensive development phase, and the beginning of a testing and demonstration phase for bioWAVE. We will now turn our attention to commissioning the plant for operation, and we aim to be delivering electricity into the grid very soon.”

The bioWAVE device, whose design was inspired by undersea plants, is a 26 m 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 Au$21 million (~$15 million) project has been in development by BPS for three years, with Au$11 million funding from ARENA and Au$5 million funding from the Victorian Government.

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

BioPower Systems is an Australian renewable energy technology company which is developing systems for both wave and tidal power conversion.

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