Tuesday, 1 April 2014

The Sydney-based company was in the process of installing what it claimed was the world’s first 1MW single unit wave energy converter off the South Australian coast.

The company, formed more than 15 years ago, had built a number of prototypes of wave energy units, including three off the NSW coast. It had plans to expand to North America, Asia and Europe.

Mr Goyal said the company had suffered financially after an incident at sea delayed the final installation of the South Australian unit several weeks ago. This caused delays in funding which was dependent on meeting installation deadlines.

Mr Goyal said it was too early to outline the receivership strategy. The immediate priority was to work with the South Australian and NSW governments to alleviate any safety concerns.

The latest prototype consisted of a reinforced concrete structure which weighed approximately 3000-tonne and sat under its own weight on the seafloor. On top of the concrete structure was a turbine and a number of electrical components and sensors that would use the energy from ocean waves to develop electricity. The plan was for the unit to sit 3 km offshore transfer the electricity through a subsea cable that would connect the unit to the electricity grid. Once operational, each unit could produce enough electricity to power 1000 homes.

Mr Goyal said the six employees of the company would remain at work for the time being. He said the company had been funded by a bank facility, research organisations and private investors.

The company’s website says it received a $7.2 million grant from the Federal Government’s Energy Renewables Programme and had received a grant from the Australian Research Council. The website says the company, formerly known as Energetech, had been named by the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation as one of the top 10 renewable energy investment opportunities in the world.


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