The story of Wave Hub Ltd is intrinsically linked to the evolution of offshore renewables, a sector which has long been at the heart of economic strategic development and ambition in Cornwall and the South West.
Wave Hub was first conceived in 2003, when the South West Regional Development Agency identified marine renewable energy technologies as one of the best opportunities for economic growth in South West England.
A panel of industry experts recommended that the natural resources, existing skills and research capabilities in the South West were a good base for developing the emerging offshore renewable energy industry in the region. An excellent wave climate and available grid capacity near the coast made the concept of a consented grid connected site for the demonstration of wave energy devices the most attractive option as part of a wider UK offer to the global marine energy industry.
Wave Hub received its necessary consents from the UK government in the autumn of 2007 and the wave test site was fully commissioned in 2012.
As the industry continues to evolve, informed by the very latest science and discovery, there has been a shift in focus towards the Celtic Sea Floating Offshore Wind opportunity, which is now seen as offering the greatest potential for offshore renewables.
The FLOW sector has been growing more rapidly than wave energy and the Wave Hub assets (including the Hayle offshore and onshore assets) are thus now being offered for sale to private developers, as a vital first stepping stone in building the Celtic Sea FLOW industry. This will enable the purchaser to acquire a consented offshore site with significant in place offshore and onshore infrastructure.
After the sale, Wave Hub will continue as the strategic focal point and partner for advancing offshore renewables in the South West of the UK, offering a comprehensive range of services to support private sector development of Celtic Sea floating offshore wind.