Plans for a so-called Wave Hub located 16 km off the UK’s Cornish coast that would connect up to four wave energy devices to the national transmission grid have moved forward with a government funding boost.

The government, through the DTI’s Marine Renewables Deployment Fund, has announced £4.5 million ($8.6 million) of funding for the project, should planning consent be given. The figure marks almost a quarter of the estimated £20 million ($38 million) development cost, including the offshore cable which is expected to land at Hayle, Cornwall. The project is expected to deliver some 20 MW to the UK grid.

Energy minister Malcolm Wicks welcomed the development, saying: “The project has still to get through a robust consent process before getting into the water, and to finalise the device developers who will connect to it. But if successful, it…could provide 3% of Cornwall’s electricity needs.”

If consent is granted, Wave Hub is expected to begin operations in 2008.

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