Wave Hub

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Wave Hub
Country United Kingdom
Location off Hayle, Cornwall
Coordinates 50°18′40″N 5°31′30″W / 50.31111°N 5.52500°W / 50.31111; -5.52500Coordinates: 50°18′40″N 5°31′30″W / 50.31111°N 5.52500°W / 50.31111; -5.52500
Status Under construction
Commission date 2010
Construction cost £28 million
Owner(s) Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Operator(s) Wave Hub Limited
Wave power facility
Distance from shore 10 mi (16 km)
Power generation
Nameplate capacity 20 MW

The Wave Hub is a wave power research project. The project is developed approximately 10 miles (16 km) off Hayle, on the north coast of Cornwall, United Kingdom. The hub was installed on the seabed in September 2010, [1] and is a 'socket' sitting on the seabed for wave energy converters to be plugged into. It will have connections to it from arrays of up to four kinds of wave energy converter. A cable from the hub to main land will take electrical power from the devices to the electric grid. The total capacity of the hub will be 20 MWe. The estimated cost of the project is £28 million.

Developers

The project was originally developed by the South West of England Regional Development Agency (SWRDA).[2] Ownership transferred to the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) on 1 January 2012 in advance of the abolition of SWRDA on 31 March 2012. BIS created an operating company, Wave Hub Limited, to manage the project on its behalf.[3]

A total of four device developers will connect their arrays into the Wave Hub. This will allow the developers to transmit and sell their renewable electricity to the UK's electricity distribution grid. Each developer will be able to locate their devices in one quarter of the 3 by 1 kilometre (1.86 by 0.62 mi) rectangle allocated to the Wave Hub. A sub-sea transformer will be provided with capacity to deliver up to a total of 20 MW of power into the local distribution network.

In 2006 three companies were signed on for initial development.[4] The initial partners were Ocean Power Technologies Limited, Fred Olsen Limited and Ocean Prospect.

The four Wave Hub sites are now confirmed[5] to be assigned to wave generators from UK-based Seatricity,[6] the Australian company Carnegie Wave Energy Limited[7] and Finnish Fortum.[7] The fourth site is to be used for testing offshore floating wind generators.[5][8]

Description

The project was financed by the South West of England Regional Development Agency (£12.5 million), the European Regional Development Fund Convergence Programme (£20 million) and the UK government (£9.5 million).[2]

Wave Hub could generate £76 million over 25 years for the regional economy. It would create at least 170 jobs and possibly hundreds more by creating a new wave power industry in South West England.

Wave Hub could save 24,300 tonnes of carbon dioxide every year when displacing fossil fuels. This would support South West England's target for generating 15% of the region's power from renewable sources by 2010.

Installation

The first device to be associated with the Wave Hub was Seatricity's Oceanus 2 device, which was moored there in June 2014. The Seatricity device does not produce electricity directly, but is designed to pump water under pressure several miles along a pipeline back to the shore to drive a turbine. Seatricity was taking advantage of the Wave Hub's licence to operate wave energy devices at that location </ref>http://seatricity.com/</ref>.

Over a two-year period, Seatricity's device was only on site for a few weeks, accumulating data on the pressures achieved by their pumping system, but it was never connected to the shore. Trials were brought to an abrupt halt when the tether broke in comparatively mild weather in August 2016, close to the end of their licence period. The device never experienced winter storms.

In March 2018 it was announced that the Australian wave energy company Carnegie had cancelled its plans to test a wave-energy device at the Wave Hub. An American company, Gwave, was due to install a device later in 2018, but that too has been postponed. By March 2018, no electricity had been produced at the Wave Hub. <ref>https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-cornwall-40294158<ref> .

References

  1. ^ "Wave Hub successfully installed off Cornish coast". The Guardian. 7 October 2010. Retrieved 4 March 2012.
  2. ^ a b "UK: Wave Hub construction underway". DredgingToday.com. Navingo BV. 27 November 2009. Retrieved 18 August 2010.
  3. ^ "Government secures Cornwall's Wave Hub energy project". BBC News. 20 December 2011. Retrieved 14 March 2014.
  4. ^ "Wave Energy Companies Selected for UK Ocean Test Site". Renewable Energy World. 6 February 2006. Retrieved 25 July 2014.
  5. ^ a b Wave Hub strengthens position at forefront of wave energy array testing globally
  6. ^ Seatricity Latest News
  7. ^ a b "Wave Hub at full capacity for offshore energy test site". The Cornishman. 1 April 2014. Retrieved 25 July 2014.
  8. ^ Wave Hub applies for floating wind consent

External links

  • Convergence Cornwall
  • Wave Hub official website
  • RegenSW News Article
  • Ocean Power Technologies
  • Pelamis Wave Power (Pelamis)
  • Oceanlinx
  • Fred Olsen Renewables.com
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