Wave power option now being tested

The Royal Gazette, April 11, 2011

A wave-monitoring buoy has been placed off the South Shore to gather information about the feasibility of wave power in Bermuda.

If studies show that it is viable, a wave energy product could produce both electricity and fresh water for Bermuda from the waves around the Island.

Installed by Carnegie Wave Energy, based in Australia, and Bermuda-based developer Triton Renewable Energy, the buoy will track data over the next year. Once collected, the data will be shared with the public.

Carnegie and Triton signed a Memorandum of Understanding in 2008 to develop a CETO wave energy project, with pre-feasibility and environmental studies already completed.

Managing director of Triton Tim Hasselbring said: “This is an exciting step forward for a project that stands to be of great benefit for Bermuda.

“Obtaining this data is essential to the project, since until now there has been no direct measurement of the wave resource in Bermuda.”

In 2009, Triton was one of five companies to give presentations about potential large-scale renewable energy projects, including solar photovoltaic panels, wind turbines and biomass energy.

That same year it was announced that the company was in negotiations to build a test site in the East End with CETO technology to be placed at a sandhole 1.5km off the Island as part of a pilot programme.

CETO technology works in a method similar to a bicycle pump. As the buoy bobs up and down in the waves, it draws seawater into pumps, forcing it at high pressure through a shore-based turbine, adding electricity into the grid. The seawater can be used to supply a reverse osmosis desalination plant, providing an environmentally friendly substitute for gas pumps often used in such plants.

Environmental projects manager Dr Annie Glasspool said at the time they hoped to have the pilot facility up and running by the end of 2010, saying: “It is very environmentally friendly as it does not produce electricity in the water and there’s no oil or harmful lubricants. There are zero emissions so it is clean energy with a minimal visual impact and noise.”

The pilot facility could be capable of generating 2 megawatts of electricity, enough to power more than 1,000 homes.

If successful, the project could then expand, with a facility the size of three football fields generating 20MW, as much as 20 percent of Bermuda’s energy needs.

11th April 2011 – The Royal Gazette Online, Bermuda

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