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UK's Wave Hub marine energy project plugged into national grid

The Wave Hub marine energy project off the Cornish coast has been plugged into the national grid for the first time as part of tests to convert wave power into electricity.

A 12-ton Wave Hub socket has been installed on the seabed 10 miles off the coast, with cables linking it to a new electricity substation.

Wave Hub is creating the world's largest test site for wave energy technology by building a grid-connected socket on the seabed off the coast of Cornwall, England, to which wave power devices can be connected and their performance evaluated.

Guy Lavender, Wave Hub's general manager, said: "We've been continually testing the integrity of the whole system during the installation process. Yesterday [Tuesday] was the first time it was fully energized and plugged into the grid, and I'm delighted to say that it went without a hitch."

The GBP 42 million (US$64.36 million) project has been developed by the South West RDA and is a cornerstone of its strategy to develop a world-class marine energy industry in South West England.

Wave Hub is being funded with GBP 12.5 million from the South West RDA, GBP 20 million from the European Regional Development Fund Convergence Programme and GBP 9.5 million from the UK government.

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