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£40m Investment Will Mean Wave Power for Cornwall
3:45pm 10th December 2013
(Updated 3:45pm 10th December 2013)
New jobs are promised as Cornwall's wave hub gets its first paying customer.
Ten thousand homes will be powered by energy generated by the sea off Hayle.
The Seatricity project's worth £40m to the Duchy.
Seatricity managing director Peter Mitchell said: "Our first generation Oceanus 1 device has undergone extensive and successful sea trials in Scotland and we are ready to make the next step to Wave Hub.
"The technology is scalable so once we complete our testing next year we hope to move quickly to a full array. Wave Hub gives us the essential grid capacity to do that and we look forward to working with the team in Hayle and the extensive local supply chain in Cornwall."
It will mean an aluminium float that travels up and down with the waves and operates a pump to pressurise sea water to drive a hydroelectric turbine to produce electricity. The floats are tethered to blocks on the seabed and the pumps are linked together to generate highly pressurised water.
Wave Hub managing director Claire Gibson said: "Wave Hub was designed in response to industry demand for full scale array testing so we are delighted that Seatricity has recognised the advantage of demonstrating their technology at Wave Hub and signed a commitment agreement to take one of our four berths. We look forward to assisting them with their first deployment in the summer."
Julian German, Cornwall Council's Cabinet Member for Economy and Culture, said: "I am absolutely delighted with the proposed investment by Seatricity at Wave Hub, especially so given that the devices will be built in Cornwall. Cornwall is incredibly well placed to become a national and world leader in marine renewable technology, and this investment signifies an important step on the road to achieving that goal."
Chris Pomfret, chairman of the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership, said: "If we want to transform our economy we have to take some risks and the Convergence investment in Wave Hub was a risk but it was clearly one worth taking because it is a project that is starting to come to fruition.
"We see expertise in marine energy as being an important part of the future economy in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly and something that we can export around the world. The announcement from Seatricity is excellent news for the continued development of the sector and we look forward to welcoming them to Cornwall."
MP for west Cornwall, Andrew George, has also welcomed the news.
He said: "This is brilliant news for our area. This means jobs, investment and the prestige of having the chance to become a world leader in marine renewable energy generation.
"I congratulate all who have put so much into making this happen and to the Government for understanding that this sector needs consistent - not changing - policy commitment and the certainty and confidence this brings to investors.
"I understand that Seatricity will deploy a single device next summer and, if all goes well, an array of devices will be deployed in 2015."
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