Saturday, April 28, 2007

Cornwall Wave Energy Hub

A £21m wave energy farm in Cornwall has been agreed to.
More than £21m of funding has just been agreed for Wave Hub, a giant electrical terminal on the seabed 10 miles off the coast of Hayle, near St Ives, through which wave energy devices can transmit the energy they generate along a high-voltage undersea cable back to the National Grid on shore.

When it is operating next year it is likely to support the largest array of wave energy machines in the world, and mark an enormous step forward in the development of wave power, which has long been the Cinderella in the family of renewable energy technologies - far less advanced than wind and solar power.

....Wave Hub will allow developers of wave energy devices to test new wave energy technology. Groups of devices will be connected to the terminal and float on or just below the surface of the sea to assess how well they work and how much power they generate before going into full commercial production.

The terminal will be connected to the National Grid by a 15.5 mile cable linked to a new electricity substation at Hayle. It could generate 20 megawatts of electricity, enough power for 7,500 homes or three per cent of Cornwall's domestic electricity needs.

Although surfers fear the Wave Hub will detract from their surfing excitement, only time will tell whether the surfers' waves lose energy and height as a result of this experimental project.

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