The Wave Hub project, a GBP42m marine energy project, is on course to be deployed this summer with fabrication of sub-sea cables and the hub itself nearing completion, the developer of the project South West RDA said.
The agency claims that Wave Hub will create the world’s largest test site for wave energy technology by building a grid-connected socket on the seabed, 10 miles off the coast of Cornwall, to which wave power devices can be connected.
Hartlepool-based JDR Cable Systems is constructing the armored 25km subsea cable that will connect Wave Hub to the national grid, and the hub structure that will sit on the seabed. The company is also making four 300mt ‘tails’ that will connect wave energy devices on or just below the surface of the sea back to Wave Hub.
According to South West RDA, work is also well underway on the hub assembly. This is a steel structure, which is the size of a van (around 2mt high and about 6mt long) that will sit on the seabed in 50mt of water and be covered in several metres of rock.
The structure will provide a connection between the main cable from the shore and the tails leading to the wave energy devices, and will weigh around 12 tonnes when completed. A connection block inside will be filled with resin to ensure it remains watertight and the whole structure is designed to last at least 25 years.
Meanwhile onshore work for Wave Hub continues with the construction of an electricity substation at Hayle on the north Cornwall coast.
The six-month project includes the installation of more than GBP1m of electrical equipment, including a monitoring system for wave energy developers to measure how much power their devices produce.
It follows the completion in February of the first phase of work to drill a 200mt duct through sand dunes at Hayle where Wave Hub’s subsea-cable will come ashore. It will be linked to onshore cabling threaded through the duct and connected to the new sub-station.
Wave Hub is being funded with GBP12.5m from the South West RDA, GBP20m from the European Regional Development Fund Convergence Program and GBP9.5m from the UK government.