Cornish wave farm secures funding

Funding has been secured for a 20-megawatt wave farm planned off the coast of Cornwall.

The "wave hub" is being developed by the South West of England Regional Development Authority.

It will consist of a high-voltage cable connected to the grid stretching 10 miles out to sea from Hayle to allow companies to test wave energy devices at a commercial scale.

The Authority signed off £21.5 million in funding in April. Half of this will come from the European Regional Development Fund.

The Department of Trade and Industry had already committed £4.5 million to the project.

Four developers have signed up to use the hub, including the Eon-led consortium WestWave, which will use Ocean Power Delivery’s Pelamis machines.

The Authority hopes to have the project up and running in summer 2008, although it is still waiting for consent from the DTI under the Electricity Act 1989.

It also needs consent from the Environment Department (DEFRA) under the Coastal Protection Act 1949 and the Food and Environment Protection Act 1985.

These will allow devices to be placed in navigable waters and to be built on the seabed, respectively. Decisions on these consents are expected by July.

If built, the project will be the UK’s second commercial wave farm.

In March, the Scottish Executive announced it had awarded funding to CRE Energy, a subsidiary of Scottish Power, to help build a 3MW wave farm at the European Marine Test Centre, Orkney (ENDS Report 386, p 14 ).

This is due to be in operation by the end of the year.

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