Renewable energy consultancy PMSS has been appointed by the South West Regional Development Agency (RDA) to lead a 100,000 pounds (US$150,600) study into the potential of marine energy hydro and other renewables around the coast of South West England.
The South West RDA is a government-funded public body set up in 1999.
The study will examine the potential for wave, tidal and offshore wind installations up to 2030 and will inform future investment decisions by the industry, feed into the ongoing consultation about Marine Conservation Zones through the Finding Sanctuary project and help the South West retain a leading role in the development of marine renewables.
The South West was the first area of the UK to be designated a Low Carbon Economic Area because of its strength in marine renewables.
The South West RDA’s flagship marine energy project is Wave Hub, which will create the world’s largest test site for wave energy technology by building a grid-connected socket on the seabed, 10 miles off the coast, to which wave power devices can be connected and their performance evaluated.
Scotland-based Hydro Group has been awarded a contract worth 500,000 pounds (US$780,518) in a deal that will see the provider of optical and electrical subsea products collaborating on the Wave Hub project. (HydroWorld 2/16/10)
The first phase of onshore construction has been completed, and work recently began on a new electricity sub-station in Hayle, where Wave Hub’s subsea cable will come ashore on the north coast of Cornwall.
Wave Hub is expected to be completed this year, with the first wave energy devices expected to be deployed in 2011.
In other news, Ocean Power Technologies (OPT) has been awarded EUR 2.2M, (US$2.99 million) under the European Commission’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) for work on the WavePort project in Spain.
The grant – awarded by the EC Directorate responsible for new and renewable sources of energy, energy efficiency and innovation – is part of a total award of EUR 4.5M (US$6.1 million) to a consortium of companies, including OPT, to deliver a PowerBuoy wave energy device to WavePort, with an innovative wave prediction capability and a “wave-by-wave” tuning system.