The renewable energy industry has congratulated Carnegie Wave Energy and Windlab for their industry leadership as they took out top honours at the Clean Energy Council Industry Awards this evening.

The winners of the awards were announced tonight at the Australian Clean Energy Summit Gala Dinner in Sydney.

Carnegie Wave Energy was presented with the Clean Energy Council Innovation Award for its CETO technology, while the Clean Energy Council Community Engagement Award went to Windlab for its community ownership program at the Coonooer Bridge Wind Farm in Victoria.  

Clean Energy Council Chief Executive Kane Thornton said innovative new renewable energy projects continued to inspire the rest of the industry, and Carnegie’s success with its world-beating CETO technology over the last year was undeniable.

“Carnegie’s three-unit array with the Department of Defence in WA is currently the only grid-connected wave energy project in the world, and produces both renewable energy and desalinated water. The judges said it was an important and pioneering project with genuine commercial potential, and I couldn’t agree more,” he said.

Mr Thornton said effective community engagement should not be under-estimated, given the amount of new renewable energy that would be built over the next five years.

“Windlab’s community ownership program at Coonooer Bridge in Victoria has allowed those living near wind farms to have a collective sense of ownership of the project, and help to make the company a part of the local community.  

“I would like to congratulate the winners of the Clean Energy Council Awards for their outstanding work in an outstanding industry. The quality of all finalists this year was extremely high, and set a very high bar for the rest of the industry to aspire to.

“I would also like to thank our judges – Dr Peter Mayfield from CSIRO, John O’Brien from Australian Cleantech, Nicky Ison from the Community Power Agency, Taryn Lane from Embark, and Amy Kean, Renewable Energy Advocate at the NSW Department of Trade and Investment, Regional Infrastructure and Services,” he said.

The full finalists for the Clean Energy Council Industry Awards were as follows:

Clean Energy Council Innovation Award

Carnegie Wave Energy operates the only grid-connected wave energy project in the world. Carnegie’s CETO technology delivers both clean energy and desalinated water, and the Perth Wave Energy Project consists of three CETO 5 units which were installed in November 2014.

Standards Australia developed a world-first Standard to evaluate the performance of solar heating and cooling systems. The technical committee working on the project used a framework they had developed in the1990s as a starting point, but substantial and innovative work was required to finalise the new Standard.

TransGrid used a combination of energy storage, solar power, LED light retrofitting and a web portal as part of its iDemand program to research energy demand management in New South Wales. The system was found to be able to reduce on-site peak demand by 50 per cent.

Clean Energy Council Community Engagement Awards

Hydro Tasmania, for its program of free community events and initiatives to celebrate 100 years of hydropower in the state. The program attracted thousands of locals and visitors, and involved the production of a documentary, a schools program, tours, a community open day and a concert with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra.

Infigen Energy’s Run With the Wind 2014 event attracted 750 runners to the Woodlawn Wind Farm in Tarago, New South Wales, and was a unique way to generate significant goodwill with the local community and stakeholders. The fun run helped to raise awareness about renewable energy and included a farmers’ market, and proceeds were donated to local school and charities.

At the Coonooer Bridge Wind Farm, Windlab adopted an approach designed to share the benefits of the project across the community. Windlab’s community ownership program was a way to provide direct benefits to neighbours of wind turbines, build positive relationships and help to make the company a genuine part of the local community.

The Australian Clean Energy Summit 2015 runs from 15 - 16 July at the Hilton Sydney. Hosted by the Clean Energy Council, the summit provides delegates with the latest political, financial, business and technology developments impacting the renewable energy sector.

Please contact Clean Energy Council Media Manager Mark Bretherton on 0413 556 981 for more information or to arrange an interview.