U.K. pledges US$8.5 million to Wave Hub project

The United Kingdom has approved 4.5 million pounds (US$8.5 million) in funding for the Wave Hub scheme, a proposed underwater cable system connecting wave energy projects off the coast of Hayle, Cornwall, England, to the national grid.

The Department of Trade and Industry’s Marine Renewables Deployment Fund announced the financing August 17 for the 20 million pound (US$37.76 million) project being led by the South West of England Regional Development Agency (RDA).

�The project still has to get through a robust consent process before getting into the water, and to finalize the device developers who will connect to it,� Energy Minister Malcom Wicks said. �But, if successful, it will be a shining example of U.K. innovation that could provide 3 percent of Cornwall’s electricity needs. That is up to 20 MW of renewable and secure emission-free energy powering 7,500 homes.�

RDA already has chosen three wave energy companies to be its development partners for Wave Hub’s wave energy farm. Their wave energy devices are to be connected to Wave Hub’s electrical �socket� on the seabed, allowing them to conduct large-scale testing of their equipment before going into commercial production.

The companies are: Ocean Prospect Ltd., which intends to test 10 Pelamis P750 devices developed by Ocean Power Delivery; Ocean Power Technologies, which intends to install a 5-MW project based on its PowerBuoy wave energy converter; and Fred. Olsen Ltd., which plans to install a number of floating buoys attached to a floating platform that converts wave energy to electricity.

Government consultation with stakeholders on the consent application of Wave Hub is due to close September 1. A decision is expected by the end of the year.

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