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Wave Hub wave energy hydropower infrastructure project on track for summer 2011 deployment

Wave Hub, a marine renewable infrastructure project that will create the world’s largest test site for wave energy technology, is on course to be deployed by summer 2011, with fabrication of subsea cables and the hub itself nearing completion, developers reported.

Wave Hub is being developed by the South West RDA (Regional Development Agency). It is situated on the seabed in some 50 meters of sea water approximately 16 kilometers off the coast of Cornwall and connected to the national grid via a subsea cable. Wave Hub will create a test site for wave energy technology by building a grid-connected socket on the seabed, to which wave power devices can be connected and their performance evaluated.

Hartlepool-based JDR Cable Systems is constructing the armored 25- kilometer subsea cable that will connect Wave Hub to the grid and the hub structure that will sit on the seabed. Work also is progressing on the hub assembly, which will provide a connection between the main cable from the shore and the tails leading to the wave energy devices.

CTC Marine, part of the Texas-based Trico Marine Group, will handle the load out and installation of Wave Hub’s 25-kilometer armored subsea cable and the deployment of the hub itself on the seabed, CTC reported.

The GBP 7 million contract was awarded following a competitive tender. 

Guy Lavender, Wave Hub’s general manager at the South West RDA, said: “After seven years of planning, it’s hugely satisfying to see the cable and hub actually taking shape. We’re on course for deployment this summer, and extensive testing will take place before we welcome our first wave energy devices at Wave Hub, which we expect in 2011."

The GBP 42 million Wave Hub could create 1,800 jobs and inject GBP 560 million in the UK economy over 25 years, according to an independent economic study.

In other news, Renewable energy consultancy PMSS recently was 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.

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