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Wave Hub in Hayle gets first customer
10:08am Tuesday 10th December 2013 in News
After many years, and many millions of pounds, the Wave Hub offshore renewable energy test facility at Hayle will finally have something plugged in.
Wave energy company Seatricity is to develop a 10MW array over the next two years at Wave Hub, with a plan to deploy its second generation device at Wave Hub next year before building out to a full scale grid-connected array in 2015.
Seatricity managing director Peter Mitchell said: “Our first generation Oceanus 1 device has undergone extensive and successful sea trials in Scotland and we are ready to make the next step to Wave Hub. The technology is scalable so once we complete our testing next year we hope to move quickly to a full array. Wave Hub gives us the essential grid capacity to do that and we look forward to working with the team in Hayle and the extensive local supply chain in Cornwall.”
Wave Hub managing director Claire Gibson said: “Wave Hub was designed in response to industry demand for full scale array testing so we are delighted that Seatricity has recognised the advantage of demonstrating their technology at Wave Hub and signed a commitment agreement to take one of our four berths. We look forward to assisting them with their first deployment in the summer.”
Seatricity is intending to build its next generation Oceanus 2 device in Cornwall and use the local supply chain to support its marine operations. The company will also be locating its custom-builtwork boat Ocean Enterprise in Wave Hub’s home port of Hayle shortly.
Business and Energy Minister Michael Fallon said: “The UK is one of the leading nations in the development of marine energy with around a quarter of the world’s wave and tidal technologies developed here in the UK. So it is good news that forward-thinking companies like Seatricity are continuing to develop the newest, most effective technologies. Thanks to our investment of more than £13 million in the Wave Hub facility they and others can test their products right here in this country.”
Julian German, Cornwall Council’s Cabinet Member for Economy and Culture, said: “I am absolutely delighted with the proposed investment by Seatricity at Wave Hub, especially so given that the devices will be built in Cornwall. Cornwall is incredibly well placed to become a national and world leader in marine renewable technology, and this investment signifies an important step on the road to achieving that goal.”
Seatricity’s patented Oceanus technology involves an aluminium float that travels up and down with the waves and operates a pump to pressurise sea water to drive a hydroelectric turbine to produce electricity. The floats are tethered to blocks on the seabed and the pumps are linked together to generate substantial amounts of highly pressurised water.
The claim is that 10MW of electricity generated from the waves off Hayle will be sufficient to power up to 10,000 homes.
The announcement follows confirmation of the UK Government’s commitment to offshore renewables. Energy Secretary Ed Davey has confirmed that subsidy levels for wave energy will be unchanged from this summer’s draft proposals.
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