World's largest wave energy test site scheme launches
Engineers are running final checks after placing a pioneering wave energy scheme on the seabed off the Cornish coast.
The South West Regional Development Agency (RDA)'s Wave Hub marine energy project has been installed 16 kilometres offshore.
Wave Hub, is claim the makers, the world's largest test site for wave energy technology and includes a grid-connected socket on the seabed to which wave power devices can be connected and their performance evaluated.
The £42 million project was lowered to the seabed using a crane on board the cable laying ship Nordica and touched down at 15.12 last Friday (September 3).
Over the last two days the hub's four 300m 'tails' have been positioned on the seabed and later today the vessel Tideway Rollingstone will start to place the first of 80,000 tonnes of rock on top of the 25km cable connecting Wave Hub to the shore to hold it in place.
News of Wave Hub's successful installation was welcomed by UK climate change minister Greg Barker who congratulated the Wave Hub team on their achievement, saying: "The UK's massive marine energy resources have the potential to supply millions of homes with renewable power, giving us security of supply and cutting greenhouse gas emissions.
"Wave Hub will fulfil a crucial role that complements our existing test facilities in the UK and will help companies bring forward the development of marine energy."
The RDA's Wave Hub general manager, Guy Lavender, said: "Seeing Wave Hub lowered into the water was the culmination of more than seven years' hard work by hundreds of people and the fact that it was designed and built in this country is testimony to the skills and experience that the UK already has in the fledgling marine renewables industry.
"Wave Hub will be on the seabed for the next 25 years, helping the world gain invaluable knowledge about how we tap the vast energy potential of our oceans in the pursuit of clean, abundant, renewable energy and cementing the UK's position at the forefront of this green power revolution."