A $20 MILLION clean energy trial at Port Fairy is expected to be running by the end of the year.
Sydney company BioPower Systems is behind the pilot wave energy project, which will be located four kilometres west of Port Fairy.
The project was announced in December 2011 and the early completion date was set for 2013.
BioPower Systems chief executive officer Timothy Finnigan said it was the company’s first foray into wave technology.
“It has taken longer than we first envisaged but we have had to revise things along the way,” Mr Finnigan said.
“We have to make sure we minimise the risks and do it right and we have had to deal with financial, commercial and technical delays.”
Costing of the project has also missed the mark — when first announced it was set at $14 million, a $6m increase.
The project is being funded by the federal government, which is putting in 50 per cent of the cost, with the state government and private enterprise each contributing 25 per cent.
The biowave unit to be used in the project is a 30-metre-high steel structure with a 250kw generator which will be anchored on the seabed 800 metres off shore.
The unit is currently being constructed in three separate sections and these will be joined together in the second half of the year and transported to Port Fairy.
Port Fairy abalone farm Southern Ocean Mariculture will be the place to receive power from the project. Work will be done in the first half of this year to put in cabling, meter boxes and transformers.
Mr Finnigan said local contractors and boat owners will be used where possible in the preparation period and for servicing the unit once it is operational.
The project is a short-term venture. The equipment will be shut off and decommissioned after 21 months.
Its progress will be closely monitored and the data collected will be used to help design a larger 1mw commercial-scale unit.
Mr Finnigan said if the trial was successful, a decision would be made where to locate the bigger unit — with Port Fairy among the options.
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