Wave energy proposal gets marine energy funding

A proposal to generate electricity from wave energy has been awarded $760,000 under the government's Marine Energy Deployment Fund, the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority announced today.

The WET-NZ project put forward by Power Projects Ltd and Industrial Research Ltd is the second project to gain funding under the $8 million fund.

"New Zealand has some of the best marine energy resources in the world. This fund is a way of finding out how we can make the most of that resource," EECA chief executive Mike Underhill said.

"In what is a rapidly growing global industry with more than 200 companies developing marine energy technology, the fund allows New Zealand to compete on the world stage, by getting marine energy devices into the water to prove their potential."

The WET-NZ project involves constructing and deploying a pre-commercial, half-scale device with a peak capacity of 20 kilowatts.

"A prototype of the device has been tested in waters off the Canterbury coast and in Wellington harbour," Mr Underhill said.

"It will be primarily designed and manufactured in New Zealand, and will be deployed in New Zealand waters."

"By supporting fledgling marine energy projects like this one, we can in time further diversify our energy supply, and support our combined goals of improving security of supply and generating more electricity from renewable sources."

"I congratulate WET-NZ for their successful application and wish them well in now going ahead and developing their proposal," Mr Underhill concluded.