An Australian wave energy developer has announced plans to install a 2MW wave energy farm off the coast of Hanimaadhoo Island.
Perth-based Stonehenge Metals has acquired Clean Energy Maldives, a company that reportedly has approval from the Maldives to establish a commercial wave energy converter power generation and seawater desalination facility, according to a press release issued by the company last week.
Wave energy will be harnessed using a technology called a Protean Wave Energy Converter, an Australian invention that generates power from buoys bobbing up and down in the ocean.
The technology is owned by Stonehenge, an Australian mining company. The company says it tested this technology successfully with 30 buoys in Australian waters.
Bruce Lane, Stonehenge Managing Director, said: “The agreement with Clean Energy Maldives paves the way for a commercial application of the Protean technology in the Maldives. The company is excited to work with CEM and its management who have been instrumental in garnering the very strong support we have for the project from the local government and community on the island.”
Some 100 of the island’s estimated 500 businesses and residence have expressed interest in buying power from Stonehenge at a rate of MVR3.5 per unit, the press release read.
However, Adam Ibrahim, the president of the Hanimaadhoo council, said he was unaware of plans to install a wave energy farm near the island. The Maldives Independent was not able to contact CEM at the time of going to press.
The project will begin in 2016, Stonehenge said. In addition to producing electricity, it will also produce desalinated water.
A company called 40South Energy has also announced plans to harness wave energy for Korallion, a marine lab in Lhaviyani Atoll.
The Maldives has pledged to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 10 percent before 2030 in a new action plan submitted ahead of crucial climate change negotiations in December.
The 10 percent target falls far short of ambitious plans announced by President Mohamed Nasheed in early 2009 to become carbon neutral by 2020, which has since been scrapped by successive administrations.
With Nasheed’s ouster in 2012, several clean energy projects came to a halt, including a wave farm off the coast of Kaafu Atoll Gaafaru.