Marine licence sought for first Wave Hub deployment

The company planning to install the first wave energy device at Wave Hub has applied for a marine licence for the deployment.

Cork-based Ocean Energy has asked the Marine Management Organisation (MMO) for permission to deploy its €9 million OE Buoy wave energy converter at Wave Hub, around 10 miles off the north coast of Cornwall in South West England.

The one megawatt device weighs 650-tonnes. OEL is in discussions with local supply chain companies about support with fabrication and deployment, and hopes to operate from the newly refurbished North Quay in Hayle Harbour.

Claire Gibson, general manager at Wave Hub, which is the world’s largest grid-connected offshore marine energy test site, said: “Ocean Energy’s application for a marine licence marks a significant milestone for us and is a further important step towards a full scale device deployment at Wave Hub.”

John McCarthy, chief executive and co-founder of Ocean Energy said: “Having completed successful trials of a scale device for over three years in Galway Bay we are keen to progress to a full size prototype at a grid connected site. Wave Hub gives us the infrastructure and conditions we need to achieve this and it is an excellent accelerant for our commercialisation.”

The application comes as two independent reports recently confirmed the huge potential for wave energy in the South West. Studies by The Crown Estate and Carbon Trust found significant offshore resource that could potentially power tens of thousands of homes if harnessed economically.

The reports are expected to inform future licensing rounds for the commercial development of marine renewables.

Ocean Energy already has MMO consent to carry out anchor trials at the Wave Hub site. These will get underway if the full consent is granted and test whether the proposed anchoring system is suitable for the location. A decision on the consent is expected by the end of the year.

Ocean Energy is participating in this project with its technology partner Dresser-Rand, the largest service provider in the oil and gas industry. The OE Buoy weighs 650 tonnes, is 37.5 metres long, 18 metres wide and has a draft of 8.75 metres.

Notes to Editors

Wave Hub consists of a giant ‘socket’ on the seabed connected to the national grid on shore by an underwater cable, into which wave energy devices can be ‘plugged’ and tested on a scale not seen anywhere before. The project has four berths available and a capacity of 20MW, equivalent to the electricity needs of more than 7,000 homes.

Wave Hub is publicly-owned by the UK Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) which has set up a stand-alone operating company, Wave Hub Limited, based in Hayle, Cornwall, to manage the day-to-day operation of the testing facility on its behalf.

Wave Hub is a £30 million construction project funded with £16.5 million from the European Regional Development Fund Convergence Programme and £13.5 million from the UK Government.

Wave Hub is a partner in the South West Marine Energy Park.

Follow Wave Hub on Twitter @wavehub

Ocean Energy Limited and Dresser-Rand have a memorandum of understanding to develop a full range of full-scale devices to produce commercial electricity. Dresser-Rand developed and patented the HydroAir™ turbine – a variable radius turbine that uses a combination of stainless steel, aluminium and reinforced composites to resist corrosion. The turbine is constructed to withstand the rigors of a marine environment, and demonstrates higher levels of efficiency when compared to existing impulse designs across a wide range of incident flows.

For more information about Ocean Energy, including videos of the OE Buoy in action, visit: www.oceanenergy.ie

For more information contact:

Jason Clark, DCA Public Relations, 01208-77900, 07980-834368, jason.clark@dca-pr.co.uk