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Wave Hub will get its first test job in 2014

By The Cornishman  |  Posted: December 12, 2013

  • Seatricity plan to harness energy by pressurising seawater which will drive a turbine and produce electricity.

  • The Oceanus 1 wave energy device. Seatricity says it hopes to develop a full-scale 10MW grid at the Hayle site which would produce enough energy to power 10,000 homes.

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A RENEWABLE energy test facility off Hayle will be used for the first time next year.

Wave energy company Seatricity will be the first to plug into the Wave Hub, a £30 million installation which acts like a giant 'socket' for offshore energy devices.

The company's machine uses the vertical motion of an aluminium float to operate a pump and pressurise seawater to drive a turbine, which in turn produces electricity.

Managing director Peter Mitchell said: "Our first- generation Oceanus 1 device has undergone extensive and successful sea trials in Scotland and we're 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."

By 2015, he said, the company hoped 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, ten 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 project's first paying customer, with its deployment of Oceanus 1 next summer.

"Wave Hub was designed in response to industry demand for full-scale array testing so we're delighted that Seatricity has recognised the advantage of demonstrating its technology at Wave Hub and signed a commitment agreement to take one of our four berths," she said.

Seatricity says it 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 moving 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 was 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."

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