Funding secured to build U.K.’s Wave Hub project

The South West of England Regional Development Agency (RDA) has approved 21.5 million pounds (US$42 million) for the United Kingdom’s Wave Hub project, the final amount of funds needed to build the ocean power project testing site.

The total 28 million pound (US$54.8 million) project is a proposed underwater cable system to connect wave energy projects off the coast of Hayle, Cornwall, England, to the national grid. (HNN 8/23/06)

Last year, the U.K.’s Department of Trade and Industry’s Marine Renewables Deployment Fund approved 4.5 million pounds (US$8.5 million) for the scheme. Construction could begin this year if ministers give it planning permission, expected in June.

RDA already has chosen three wave energy companies to be its development partners, with a fourth to be selected. 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.

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