Sub-sea cables are ready to go and the Wave Hub itself is nearing completion and ready to be placed in the ocean off the coast of Cornwall.

Testing is expected to last throughout the rest of 2010, with plans in place for the project to start generating power in 2011.

When it does start generating power Wave Hub will have an initial generation capacity of 20MW, roughly enough for 7000 homes, but has been designed with the potential to scale up to 50MW in the future.

Wave Hub will, according to its creators, be the world’s largest test site for wave energy technology by building a grid-connected socket on the seabed, 10 miles off Cornish coast.

The £42M project has been developed by the South West Regional Development Agency as part of a strategy to develop a world class marine energy industry for the area.

When complete, the 1,300 tonne cable will be spooled directly onto a cable laying vessel in Hartlepool Dock.

Wave Hub’s general manager, Guy Lavender, said: “After seven years of planning it’s hugely satisfying to see the cable and hub actually taking shape.

“We’re on course for deployment this summer and extensive testing will take place before we welcome our first wave energy devices at Wave Hub, which we expect in 2011.”

An independent economic impact assessment has calculated that Wave Hub could create 1,800 jobs and inject £560M in the UK economy over 25 years.

Luke Walsh

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