Creating sustainable energy from the ocean

TasPorts is proud to support Wave Swell Energy (WSE) and its unique project to create sustainable energy from the ocean.


11 December 2020

TasPorts is proud to support Wave Swell Energy (WSE) and its unique project to create sustainable energy from the ocean.

A 200kW demonstration unit is currently under construction and, once complete, will be installed just south of the Port of Grassy on King Island.

The substructure of the device was constructed at the Southern Marine Shiplift, while WSE has been building the super structure of the device on TasPorts land at the Port of Bell Bay.

TasPorts’ Executive General Manager Corporate Affairs Kate Dean said TasPorts was pleased it could play its role in bringing the two structures together.

“TasPorts’ tug Wilga and workboat Carrington recently undertook an impressive nine and a half hour voyage to tow the 740 tonne substructure of the device from Southern Marine Shiplift, up the Tamar River to the Port of Bell Bay,” Ms Dean said.

“Once Wave Swell Energy completes the construction of the unit dockside, TasPorts will then play a critical role transporting the almost 1000 tonnes of equipment on its 40 hour journey across the Bass Strait, from Bell Bay to King Island.”

Wave Swell Energy Co-Founder and Executive Chair Tom Denniss said these milestones are important steps towards their vision.

“We have really valued the support from all of the Tasmanian suppliers, such as TasPorts, that we have worked with to see the project get to this stage,” Dr Denniss said.

“Through this collaboration we have been able to see incredible levels of expertise and excellence delivered by these local businesses.”

Dr Denniss said once at King Island, Wave Swell Energy will work with Hydro Tasmania to deliver energy generated by waves into the island’s existing grid, which is currently powered by wind, solar, and diesel generators,

“We believe this will see King Island become the first location in the world with a power station that operates on three different types of renewable energy,” Dr Denniss said.

“Longer term, we expect to provide large scale grid connected electricity. Waves are a highly predictable, reliable and a virtually infinite resource. We aim to make wave energy a complementary base load power source that provides a meaningful contribution to the global energy mix.”

Photos courtesy Wave Swell Energy/Rob Burnett.


Wave Swell Energy Ltd (WSE) is an Australian-based developer of proprietary technology which works to convert the energy in ocean waves into clean and emissions free electricity.

The technology is based on the concept of the oscillating water column (OWC).

The OWC is an artificial blowhole consisting of a chamber that is open underneath the waterline. As waves pass the OWC, the water rises and falls inside, forcing the air to pass by a turbine at the top of the chamber. This turbine generates electricity.

Previous OWC technologies have all been bidirectional. The WSE technology, however, operates unidirectionally. This results in the WSE turbine being simpler, more robust and reliable, and exhibiting a higher energy conversion efficiency.

The only moving parts in the technology are the turbine and bespoke valves, all of which are well above the water line. There are no moving parts in or below the water.

On November 4, WSE was named first runner-up in the Ocean Impact Organisation’s Pitchfest 2020. The competition received almost 200 applications from 38 countries including submissions from the UK, USA, The Netherlands, The Bahamas, Israel, Spain, South Africa and South Korea.

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