The Australian government has announced plans to support a unique new type of wave energy plant in Western Australia, according to The Sydney Morning Herald.
The new project would be a relatively small 2 megawatt plant near Garden Island, south of Perth, though there would be an option to the expand the plant later to produce as much as 5 megawatts of renewable energy.
However, the plant is also a test case for an entirely new approach to wave energy. The technology, developed by Western Australia-based Carnegie, rather than generating power at sea and then sending it through cables to land actually uses a series of pumps within devices out at sea to send pressurized seawater back to the power plant. This water is then used to turn a traditional turbine, generating clean energy.
"This is where I see Australia growing into renewable energy jobs of the future," Energy Minister Craig Ferguson told the Herald.
Forbes reports that the U.S. could soon begin catching up with other leaders in wave energy, with the recent launch of the Ocean Sentinel test platform, which should help companies test and demonstrate their technology in ocean conditions.