The world's largest wave farm planned off Hayle on the coast of Cornwall in South West England has been approved for £21.5M (US$43M) of funding. The project will include a 16km cable linking the national transmission grid to the offshore hub allowing companies to test wave energy devices in a leased and consented area of sea. Devices connected to the hub could generate up to 20MW.

The investment, which has been agreed by the South West of England Regional Development Agency (RDA), means Wave Hub has the necessary £28M (US$56M) development costs, and could be built as early as next summer. Three wave energy companies, Ocean Power Technologies, Fred Olsen, and WestWave – a consortium of E.On and Ocean Prospect using the Pelamis technology of Ocean Power Delivery – are already working with the RDA to use Wave Hub, and a fourth will soon be selected.

A planning decision on the project is expected by June this year and it is expected that Wave Hub would be operational by the summer of 2008.

Maria McCaffery, chief executive of the British Wind Energy Association commented: ‘This pioneering project is crucial for the success of wave energy development, not just in the UK but around the world.’

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