Hayle offshore energy test facility to be used for the first time
A renewable energy test facility off the coast of Hayle will be used for the first time next year.
Wave energy company Seatricity will be the first device to plug into the Wave Hub, a £30 million project which acts like a giant ‘socket’ to test offshore energy.
The device will use aluminium floats to harness energy by pressuring seawater to drive a turbine which in turn produces electricity.
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.”
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By 2015 the company hope to develop a full-scale 10MW grid which would produce enough energy to power 10,000 homes.
Wave Hub, which is publicly owned by the UK Department for Business, Innovation and Skills has not been used since it was installed in 2010.
The hub, which is located 10-miles off Hayle, is connected to a power grid through underwater cables.
Wave Hub managing director, Claire Gibson, said the company looked forward to assisting Seatricity, the projects first paying customer, with its deployment next summer.
She added:“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.”
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-built workboat Ocean Enterprise to Hayle in the near future.
St Ives MP Andrew George has strongly backed the project, which he said is brilliant news for the area.
“This means jobs, investment and the prestige of having the chance to become a world leader in marine renewable energy generation,” said Mr George.
“I congratulate all who have put so much into making this happen and to the Government for understanding that this sector needs consistent - not changing - policy commitment and the certainty and confidence this brings to investors.”