Engineering a clean-energy future

Harnessing Renewable Energy

The renewable-energy transformation requires imaginative solutions to design, build, and refine the energy generation, storage, and distribution technology of the future. 

The challenge

How Australia captures, stores and uses energy is undergoing a major transformation. Whether driven by the need for lowering greenhouse gas emissions, reducing fixed costs, or building new industries that research, develop, and manufacture renewable energy technology, investment in renewable energy generation is growing.

In 2019, almost one quarter (24%) of Australia’s electricity came from renewables, and $4.3 billion was invested in projects across the country. While the Federal Government’s Renewable Energy Target remains at 33,000-gigawatt hours (GWh) of electricity from renewable sources until 2030, households, industry, community sentiment is shifting toward demanding energy sources with reduced climate impact, and heavy industry is deriving more of its energy supply from renewable sources as reliability improves.

This energy transformation requires engineering. From the essential structures that support the equipment, to clever solutions for the energy-harnessing technology, demand for engineering solutions is ever-present.

The Soto Way

Soto engineers see and understand the big picture, and they apply their creativity and expertise to the details. They design, build, and refine the structures and components that progress new technology. Expertise in analysis and modelling, including virtual reality-based designs, help improve and refine equipment that helps renewable energy projects progress toward manufacture, installation, and operation. Soto’s key involvement has helped to modify, optimise, and progress outstanding outcomes in renewable energy projects.

We’re proud of this one

It could be likened to an artificial blowhole. The Wave Swell Energy project is a wave-powered energy generator that captures waves in the chamber, forcing air upwards, like a blowhole, which then spins a turbine to produce clean, renewable energy.

While the theoretical concept is well known, the structure and turbine have to withstand the rough and corrosive ocean environment, while adding no risk from failure or degradation of its parts. Soto engineers leapt at the opportunity to partner with the client and an overseas manufacturer for a prototype turbine, as well as solutions for the design, fabrication, and assembly of the turbine unit.

Soto’s imaginative thinking progressed the manufacture of the unit that considered the operating environment, as well as ongoing maintenance requirements and safety of maintenance personnel. With Soto’s involvement, the fabrication of structural and mechanical modular components for the 200-kW generator was completed and shipped to site for pre-assembly. WSE expects the modular comments to be assembled and deployed at King Island, Tasmania, in late 2020.

Customer Story

Soto helps renewable energy pioneer Wave Swell Energy in its quest to harness the ocean’s power