Wave Hub set to host offshore floating wind turbines

The world's largest wave energy test site Wave Hub could act as a platform for offshore floating wind turbines under plans announced today (February 21) by the Energy Technologies Institute (ETI).

The scheme – part of a £25m demonstration project – will see the design, construction and installation of a floating system demonstrator by 2016 at a site with high wind speeds up to about 10m/s in water between 60-100m deep.

It will be operated for at least two years to show it can generate high levels of electricity and be maintained without using specially designed vessels. According to the ETI, if successful, it would open up new areas off the coast of the UK and help bring generation costs down.

ETI’s chief executive Dr David Clarke, said: “We will be working with Wave Hub to see if it could be suitable for hosting the offshore wind floating platform. This is a challenging project and will need local marine engineering skills and support facilities as well as the right water and wind conditions.

“The concept for the floating platforms is to be able to access near-to-shore, high wind speed sites off the west coast of the UK which would bring down the cost of generating electricity so the Wave Hub site offers some interesting possibilities.”

Wave Hub consists of a grid-connected ‘socket’ on the seabed approximately 10 nautical miles off the north coast of Cornwall in southwest England.

Maxine Perella

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