The South West of England Regional Development Agency (RDA) is inviting expressions of interest from companies that want to build the UK£15M (US$27.9M) Wave Hub project.
The Wave Hub aims to create the world’s first wave energy farm off the coast of Cornwall by building an electrical ‘socket’ on the seabed around 16km out to sea and connected to the National Grid via an underwater cable.
Wave energy devices would be connected to the Wave Hub, allowing device manufacturers to carry out large-scale testing of their machines before going into commercial production.
The RDA has published a formal contract notice in the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU) for the design, supply, construction, installation and commissioning of the complete Wave Hub system.
This includes underwater transformers, anchoring systems for wave devices, underwater cabling and cable laying, and connection to the National Grid.
The RDA has already committed UK£2M (US$3.7M) to Wave Hub as part its strategy to concentrate on the development of emerging renewable energy technologies in South West England because of their potential contribution to the region’s economy and targets on carbon dioxide emissions.
Earlier this year the RDA announced that it had chosen three companies as development partners for Wave Hub. They are Bristol-based Ocean Prospect Limited; Ocean Power Technologies based in Warwick and Fred. Olsen Ltd of Norway.
There are still several hurdles to overcome before Wave Hub becomes a reality. Funding is being sought to meet the UK£15M (US$27.9M) costs of the project and consents need to be secured from the Department of Trade and Industry and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.
The South West RDA will also be seeking a private sector partner that would own and operate Wave Hub. Construction could begin next year.
Companies interested in the Wave Hub contract should contact Jim Price, head of professional services at the South West RDA, at email@example.com by 5pm on May 10.