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Tue, Apr 28
Catching waves of energy
Off the coast of Western Australia, three big buoys floating beneath the ocean’s surface look like giant jellyfish tethered to the seafloor. The steel machines, 36 feet wide, are buffeted by the powerful waves of the Indian Ocean. By harnessing the constant motion of the waves, the buoys generate about 5 percent of the electricity used at a nearby military base on Garden Island.
The buoys are a pilot project of Carnegie Wave Energy, a company based in Perth and listed on the Australian Securities Exchange. In late February, the buoys started supplying 240 kilowatts each to the electricity grid at HMAS Stirling, Australia’s largest naval base. They also help run a desalination plant that transforms seawater into about one-third of the base’s fresh water supply.