Power firm bids to be first to connect to Hayle's undersea Wave Hub
The first energy-generating device is set to plug into the pioneering Cornish Wave Hub after an Irish firm applied for a marine licence.
The giant hub – an undersea socket on the seabed, 10 miles off the coast of Hayle – allows up to four devices to harness the power of the sea and feed electricity directly into the national grid.
It has a capacity of 20MW, equivalent to the electricity needs of more than 7,000 homes, and was created by the government as a test bed for new technology.
Cork-based Ocean Energy has asked the Marine Management Organisation (MMO) for permission to deploy its 9 million euro OE Buoy wave energy converter.
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John McCarthy, chief executive, said: "Having completed successful trials of a scale device for over three years in Galway Bay we are keen to progress to a full-size prototype at a grid connected site."
The device weighs 650 tonnes, is 37.5 metres long, 18 metres wide with a draft of 8.75 metres, and is capable of producing one mega- watt (MW) of electric power.
The company, which is in discussions with local companies about support with fabrication and deployment, hopes to operate from the newly refurbished North Quay in Hayle Harbour.
Claire Gibson, general manager at Wave Hub – the world's largest grid-connected offshore marine energy test site – said: "Ocean Energy's application for a marine licence marks a significant milestone for us and is a further important step towards a full scale device deployment."
If successful, Ocean Energy will test whether its anchoring system is suitable at the site.
A decision on the consent is expected to be made by the end of the year.