Ocean power partnership: BioPower Systems and Siemens sign MoU

Thursday, 20 August, 2009

Australia’s ocean energy company BioPower Systems and engineering and technology company Siemens have announced that they have signed a memorandum of understanding to evaluate and develop joint opportunities for ocean power conversion.

Additionally, BioPower has selected Siemens as its preferred supplier of electrical and control systems technology for its ocean tidal and wave energy conversion systems.

BioPower CEO Dr Tim Finnigan said Siemens expertise and global reach were a natural fit with BioPower as the company rapidly commercialises its next-generation ocean energy technology.

“BioPower Systems is planning to strategically develop low-cost electricity generation and systems integration technologies to ensure the cost-competitiveness of its bioWave and bioStream products in ocean energy farms,” he said.

Siemens is a worldwide leader in the field of offshore wind energy and has substantial experience in marine energy transmission. Siemens electrical drives have been utilised in BioPower’s wave and tidal equipment. Finnigan is confident that the cooperation will provide BioPower with leading turnkey solutions for ocean energy and a secure supply of quality equipment from Siemens.

“BioPower and Siemens have identified specific joint development areas and over the coming months we intend to work together to form agreements for these areas of cooperation,” Finnigan said.

“Using well-proven state-of-the art equipment, configured and installed by experts, gives us the highest level of confidence in the technologies as we move toward pilot testing in the ocean,” he added.

Siemens Chairman and Managing Director Albert Goller said the partnership with BioPower Systems further cemented Siemens position as a major driving force behind the efficient and sustainable supply of energy in Australia.

“Siemens is hopeful that our collaboration with BioPower will translate into new opportunities to apply our innovative technologies in an area of considerable potential,” he said.

“BioPower’s unique ocean wave and tidal energy conversation systems open up a new source of renewable energy, and the natural synergy of our collaboration can create enormous benefits across the board.

“Siemens is working hard to innovate and deliver the technologies to address climate change, while also meeting the energy security challenge in our region.

BioPower is currently commencing tests on power conversion equipment, including Siemens generator and drive technology, at a factory location in Sydney. The Siemens equipment has been supplied and is being configured by CNC Design. The Managing Director of CNC Design, Bruce Rowley, said, “These unique ocean energy technologies provide a new application where we can really add value through our expertise in the automation and drive motion control areas.”

Following factory testing during 2009, the power conversion equipment will be integrated into a 250 kW bioStream tidal energy system and a 250 kW bioWave ocean wave energy system, both planned for deployment at grid-connected ocean sites in Tasmania. BioPower Systems is working in collaboration with Hydro Tasmania to design the connection of the pilot units into the distribution grids at Flinders Island and King Island to supply tidal and wave energy to electricity end users and to trial the technologies for an initial period of one year. Larger commercial-scale projects are being investigated for development at locations in Australia and abroad following the pilot phase.

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