Hayle Wave Hub awarded three-year marine licence
A ONE megawatt wave energy device should be deployed off the coast of Hayle later this year, following the granting of a marine licence.
Cork-based Ocean Energy Ltd (OEL) has been awarded a three-year licence by the Marine Management Organisation (MMO),which will allow it to deploy the 9 million euro equipment (approximately £7.3 million), ten miles off the north coast.
The company is currently negotiating with local companies for help with manufacture and deployment, and hopes to operate from the newly refurbished North Quay in Hayle Harbour.
Wave Hub is the world's largest, grid-connected, offshore marine energy test site.
General manager Claire Gibson said: "We are delighted that OEL has been given the green light from the MMO to deploy the first wave energy device at Wave Hub and that the consent process has gone so smoothly.
"We look forward to assisting them with their deployment later this year."
John McCarthy, chief executive and co-founder of OceanEnergy Ltd, said: "Having completed successful trials of a scale device for over three years in Galway Bay, we are delighted to be the first developer to be awarded a marine license to deploy at Wave Hub.
"This will enable us to proceed with our anchor trials at the Wave Hub site and test the proposed system prior to a full-scale deployment."
Wave Hub consists of a giant "socket" on the seabed connected to the national grid on shore by an underwater cable, into which wave energy devices can be "plugged" and tested.
The project has four berths available and a capacity of 20MW, equivalent to the electricity needs of more than 7,000 homes.
Wave Hub is publicly-owned by the UK Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) which has set up a stand-alone operating company, Wave Hub Limited, based in Hayle, to manage the day-to-day operation of the testing facility on its behalf.
A delegation from the MMO will be visiting Wave Hub and other marine energy facilities which make up the South West Marine Energy Park later this month.
Dr Shaun Nicholson, head of offshore licensing at the Marine Management Organisation said: "We are committed to enabling sustainable growth in the marine area.
"Marine energy has huge potential in the UK and we are looking forward to learning more about the opportunities in the south west during our visit."