Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Wave Hub successfully installed off Cornish coast

After seven years in the making and a series of last-minute delays, the
South West Regional Development Agency (RDA) has finally installed its
pioneering Wave Hub device off the north Cornish coast, further establishing
the UK as the world's leading test centre for marine energy.

The final phase of deployment began on Friday, when cable-laying vessel
Nordica lowered the 12-tonne socket onto the seabed.

Specialist contractor CTC Marine then spent the weekend positioning the
device's four 300-metre cables, which serve the four berths that will allow
prototype wave energy devices to transmit energy back to the mainland.

Ocean Power Technologies (OPT) has already signed up to plug its PowerBuoy
wave energy converter into one of the berths and the RDA is currently in
talks with a number of other marine energy developers about them using the
test hub.

The news of the successful launch was welcomed by UK science minister David
Willetts who said the project could help the UK become a leading exponent of
marine energy, creating thousands of jobs in the coming decades.

"The UK is already leading the way with 25 per cent of the world's wave and
tidal technologies being developed here," he said. "This is a huge
opportunity for UK business - the sector could be worth £2bn by 2050 and it
has the potential to create up to 16,000 jobs by 2040."

South West RDA's Wave Hub general manager Guy Lavender said that the
facility would provide a major boost to the UK's wave-energy sector for
years to come.

"Wave Hub will be on the seabed for the next 25 years, helping the world
gain invaluable knowledge about how we tap the vast energy potential of our
oceans in the pursuit of clean, abundant, renewable energy and cementing the
UK's position at the forefront of this green power revolution," he said.

The project faced a number of delays earlier this summer when equipment
problems and weather conditions halted installation of the 25km cable from
the device to the shore.

The Wave Hub device will now undergo a series of tests before the first
marine energy device is deployed next year.

No comments:

Post a Comment