Hydropower

Wave Hub in SW England Gains Funds, Needs Consent

Wave Hub, the deep-sea electricity socket that will connect up to four wave energy devices to the national grid 10 miles off the Cornish coast, received almost one fourth of the funding needed from the UK Department of Trade and Industry’s (DTI) Marine Renewables Deployment Fund.

The Wave Hub, which will act like a giant extension cable, is closer to development with GBP 4.5 million [US$8.46 million], pending consent. “Today’s announcement is another significant milestone for the Wave Hub project,” said Jane Henderson, chief executive of the South West of England Regional Development Agency (RDA). “We are now awaiting the outcome of our consents application. If that is granted, we expect Wave Hub to come into operation in 2008.” A decision is expected by the end of the year. If consent is granted by the DTI and Defra, the Wave Hub scheme that has been spearheaded by the South West of England RDA will provide almost a quarter of the estimated GBP 20 million [US$37.6 million] needed to get the Hub into the water and connected to the mainland via an underwater cable that will come ashore at Hayle, Cornwall. “As an island nation the UK has an invaluable resource in terms of marine energy and we are leading the world in developing the infrastructure to harness the power of the seas,” said Minister for Energy Malcolm Wicks commenting on the grant. “The project has still to get through a robust consent process before getting into the water, and to finalize the device developers who will connect to it,” Wicks said. “But if successful, it will be a shining example of UK innovation that could provide three percent of Cornwall’s electricity needs. That is up 20 megawatts of renewable and secure emission-free energy powering 7,500 homes.”