Wave energy project could power feed barges

Impression of the MoorPower™ system aboard a feeder barge

Feed barges at marine fish farms may be running on wave power in the near future, if a project to explore the technology proves successful.

Australian company Carnegie Clean Energy has been awarded funding to test its MoorPower wave energy generator as a potential power source for offshore moored vessels.

MoorPower is a wave energy product designed to offer a solution to the challenge of securing clean and reliable energy for offshore activities, reducing reliance on diesel generation. Its initial target market is offshore vessels such as feeding barges for the aquaculture sector, but the future market is broader, the company said, including many other offshore operations that require energy.

Funding to show whether the concept works has been provided by the Blue Economy Cooperative Research Centre (CRC).

Over the next two years, Carnegie will design, install and operate a scaled demonstrator of the technology just offshore from its headquarters and research facility in North Fremantle, Western Australia.

The A$3.4m project will be delivered with funding support from the Blue Economy CRC and in close collaboration with a consortium of partners including two of Australia’s largest aquaculture companies, Huon Aquaculture and Tassal Group. Academic and industry partners include DNV GL Australia, Advanced Composite Structures Australia, University of Tasmania, Climate KIC/Australian Ocean Energy Group, AMC Search and University of Queensland.

The project is supported by A$1.35m cash from the Blue Economy CRC, $265k cash from Carnegie and A$1.8m of in-kind support from all the project partners.