Offshore renewable energy

WRL expertise icon OREIn the last 20 years, WRL has drawn on its long-standing experience in marine and coastal engineering to provide expert advice to the Australian Offshore Renewable Energy industry.

In parallel to its engineering activities, WRL has also been pursuing high-level academic research in the field of wave and tidal energy conversion, with a focus on both physical and numerical modelling. 

WRL can help identify the best locations for offshore renewable projects by providing clear assessments of the potential resource but also the risk associated with extreme events. Site selection and resource modelling are typically performed through a combination of field measurements and numerical modelling; providing developers, investors and operators with valuable information for design, installation and operational aspects. 

ORE study area

You can rely on our leading coastal engineering team to provide sound and independent advice on highly specialised aspects of offshore renewable projects such as cable routing and anchoring, device foundation and seabed scouring as well as environmental impact assessment. 

WRL’s considerable experience in physical modelling combined with our world-class testing facilities, makes it the ideal place for physical trials, from initial verification of the proof of concept, to device optimisation, survivability, and demonstration of project economics with large scale models. Test programs are specifically tailored to developer needs. Our specialist craftsman and fully equipped workshop can assist in the manufacture and calibration of fully instrumented models of marine renewable devices for scale model testing.

Salters Duck



Key areas

  • Ocean current and wave modelling
  • Resource assessment
  • Marine spatial planning (MSP)
  • Physical modelling of devices
  • Wave and ocean current load assessment on structures
  • Scour modelling along foundations and subsea cables  

Typical projects

Muri Lagoon marine current modelling, Cook Islands

  • Field measurements campaign
  • 3D numerical modelling of currents
  • Resource assessment
  • Turbine placement optimisation 

MSP along NSW coastline of wave energy projects

  • State wide marine spatial planning
  • GIS based analysis
  • Multi-criteria assessment 

Port Fairy wave power assessment

  • Resource assessment
  • Calibrated numerical wave model
  • Based on multi-year hindcast 

Tidal turbine testing

  • 2D Flume testing
  • Power, RPM and load measurements
  • Flows up to 1.1 m/s 


Oceanlinx Australia OWC testing

  • Manufacture of 1:30 model of fully instrumented Oscillating Water Column
  • Performance optimisation
  • Irregular wave time series based on site measurements 

GIS study of ORE location along south-west Victoria

  • Hi-res wave resource assessment modelling
  • Stakeholder engagement and survey
  • Multi-criteria assessment to minimise conflict with other marine space users 

Scour protection of offshore wind turbine jacket foundation

  • 3D wave basin model with mobile bed
  • Design of scour protection system
  • Scour assessment by 3D laser scan 

2D physical model of Salter’s Duck

  • Experimental research project
  • 3D mapping of wave pressure distribution on device
  • Assessment of torque, surge and heave loads 
A complete list of relevant projects undertaken can be supplied upon request.