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M4 Wave Energy Converter deployment in Albany

Marine Renewable Energy in Southwest Western Australia

The Vision

  • To demonstrate the potential of wave energy to power the aquaculture industry
  • Advance research and development in multiple fields across ocean renewable energy sectors
  • Provide new opportunities for industry, research and local supply chains
  • Develop Albany as a test site/market demonstrator and academic research hub in ocean renewable energy


  • A demonstration M4 (“Moored MultiModal Multibody”) wave energy converter (WEC) to be deployed in King George Sound, Albany
  • Design, manufacture, deployment, operation, maintenance and decommissioning of a scaled prototype
  • Demonstration of the capacity to power the aquaculture industry, providing publicly available in-situ, real-world data for the advancement of ocean renewable energies
  • Promote Albany as a scientific and commercial hub for fully integrated ocean energy systems; a world first Market Demonstration Site
  • Lay the foundations for the region to become one of the first ocean renewable energy test sites in the southern hemisphere

The Technology

  • An attenuator type of device, consisting of multiple floats connected by beams above the water
  • Three rows of floats arranged in a 1-3-2 float array, with float diameter increasing from front to rear
  • Centre float hinge allows relative rotation between the front and rear beams, producing power from this angular rotation under wave action
  • Single point mooring and the relative sizing of the floats allow the structure to naturally weathervane
  • Electricity transported to the end-user by cable at full scale
  • Scaled 20 m M4 will absorb 1-10kW in the target sea-states of King George Sound
  • Sensors to feed real-time, in situ data on device performance including energy production, motions, etc. to on-board systems

The Partnership

A partnership between UWA Marine Energy Research Australia (MERA), WA State Government Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD), the Blue Economy Cooperative Research Centre and with:

  • BMT
  • M4 WavePower Ltd
  • Huon Aquaculture
  • Albany Shellfish Hatchery
  • University of Tasmania
  • University of Queensland
  • Climate-KIC Australia (AOEG)

Technological Advantages

  • Extensive optimisation with published peer-reviewed results
  • Commitment to publish data
  • Economical and locally simple to manufacture and assemble
  • Multi-bodies allow for high wave energy capture across a range of real wave conditions
  • Single-point moorings for easy deployment and long-term maintenance on site and in port
  • Excellent survivability based on trials
  • Scalable to match average wave period at different sites
  • Power take-off at each hinge is accessible above deck for maintenance and durability
  • The design is environmentally non-intrusive

Project duration

30 Months



  • Non-commercial technological advancement
  • Improved understanding and experimental testing of WECs
  • Simulated aquaculture systems utilising ocean energy resources
  • Industry engagement and knowledge transfer
  • Development of ocean renewable supply chain and technical processes
  • Enhanced academic opportunities

Albany Market Demonstration

  • The M4 supports the world first initiative to develop the Great Southern region as an integrated sustainable energy market demonstration site.
  • This will see the region showcase renewable energy technologies, their assimilation, electricity production, and distribution capacities to end-users/customers.
  • It will become a focal point for wave energy in Australia and globally, to successfully attract developers and investors to undertake demonstration and commercial projects.