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30 June 2008,SWERDA announces plans to recruit a project management company

01 April 2008, Wave Hub project delayed

Wave project wins backing

SWERDA:  Wave Hub could create 700 jobs and £27 million a year

Surfers Against Sewage:  news release, 26 Sept 2006

  30 June 2008,SWERDA announces plans to recruit a project management company

Construction of the world’s first large scale wave energy farm off Cornwall’s north coast has moved a step closer. The South West RDA will begin advertising next week (w/c 30 June) to recruit a company to manage the procurement and installation of Wave Hub.

Click here for the full details.

  01 April 2008, Wave Hub project delayed

The South West of England Regional Development Agency today announced an unexpected delay in the Wave Hub implementation schedule.  After following the EU procurement procedures, and having received two tenders for supplying and installing the cable and the hub, the offers received were well over the budget.  SWERDA must now return to the drawing board to see if savings can be found by reworking the specification.

The press release follows and you can click the link below to download it in pdf format.


Download in pdf format.

  Wave project wins backing
A spate of announcements on marine energy have seen the UK Government give the go-ahead for Cornwall’s Wave Hub and launch a study into the feasibility of generating electricity from the tides of the Severn Estuary, while the Carbon Trust has awarded funding to new projects designed to drive down the cost of the technology.
Planning approval is the final piece in the jigsaw for the £28m Wave Hub project, which will provide a leased and consented area of sea where companies developing wave energy technology can test their devices, plugging into a shared electrical connection on the seabed, some 16km from the coast.
The hub will be connected to the National Grid by submarine cable linked to a new electricity substation at Hayle, in north Cornwall. Hayle was chosen partly because it already had a defunct substation with a grid connection that was close to the sea, which considerably reduces the costs of connection.
Four wave-device developers have already been chosen to work with the South West Regional Development Agency. They are Oceanlinx, Ocean Power Technologies, Fred Olsen and WestWave, a consortium of E.On and Ocean Prospect using Ocean Power Delivery’s Pelamis technology.
The prospect of a Severn Barrage is still far into the future, although ideas have been put forward since the 19th century for exploiting the tidal range of the Severn Estuary, which at over 14 metres is the second-highest in the world.
A hydro-electric dam filled by the incoming tide would be a massive engineering feat whose impacts would be considerable, but Government estimates say it could have a capacity of up to 8,640MW and an estimated output of 17TWh a year, meeting 5 per cent of current UK electricity demand.
John Hutton, Secretary of State for Business, said that a cross-Government review into the feasibility of a barrage would begin immediately. Describing the concept as “truly visionary”, he said: “As we undertake this work, we must understand the true environmental, social and economic impacts. They are potentially considerable. But so too is the challenge of climate change. And we must all have open minds about how we meet the energy needs of tomorrow.”
Meanwhile, device manufacturers AWS Ocean Energy, Hammerfest Strom and Ocean Power Technologies will receive Carbon Trust Marine Energy Accelerator funds to make their generators more economic in use, while Checkmate group and Minesto will get assistance to develop next-generation products.
Tom Delay, chief executive of the Carbon Trust, said: “We are leading the world in the development of marine energy and the UK is a hotbed of innovation for these key technologies. We have the potential to deliver up to 20 per cent of the UK’s electricity needs from marine energy.”
  Article Picture - Wave Hub could create 700 jobs and £27 million a year SWERDA:  Wave Hub could create 700 jobs and £27 million a year 11 February 2005

A revolutionary 'Wave Hub' 10 miles off the South West coast of England to harness the power of the ocean could lead to the creation of up to 700 jobs and contribute £27 million a year to the economy as a result of the creation of the new wave power industry.

These are among the conclusions of a series of studies commissioned by the South West of England Regional Development Agency into the economic impact and feasibility of the project, which aims to create the world's first offshore facility for the large-scale testing of wave energy devices.

The Wave Hub, which has already received support in principle from Energy Minister Mike O'Brien, would bridge the difficult gap between production prototypes and full commercial wave farms. It would also generate enough clean, renewable energy to power 14,000 homes.

Wave energy developers would have a direct connection to the national grid and it would provide a simplified permit and consenting regime with the aim of putting the UK and South West at the forefront of the global development of wave energy technology.

Energy Minister Mike O'Brien said: 'The development of wave and tidal energy has enormous potential in the UK, and UK businesses have an opportunity to be world leaders in the field. The Wave Hub project is an excellent example of a scheme that could bridge the chasm between research and development and full-scale production.'

Dominic Vincent, environment manager at the South West RDA, which has invested £500,000 in the wave hub project to date, said: 'All our studies point to the potential for the South West to be the destination of choice for wave energy developers.

'The Wave Hub would play a crucial role in helping to develop the UK renewable energy sector, boosting the economy and creating a significant number of jobs. This is why we have invested in the project.

'We know how we can build it, where we can build it, and wave device developers have told us they want it.'
Among those developers is Edinburgh-based Ocean Power Delivery (OPD), which has developed an offshore wave energy converter called Pelamis. The first full-scale pre-production prototype has been built and is being tested at the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) in Orkney.

Max Carcas, Business Development Director of Ocean Power Delivery, said: 'EMEC has and continues to provide an excellent testing environment for our full-scale Pelamis prototype. The Wave Hub off Cornwall would allow us to move up a gear by providing the fixed infrastructure that would enable our project development partners to invest in the first multi machine wave energy projects.'

Plymouth-based ORECon is another developer that is working towards the commercial application of its MRC wave energy generator from its base at the Tamar Science Park.
Managing Director Fraser Johnson said: 'The Wave Hub will provide the next stage of support that marine renewables need to penetrate the global market. The facilities to be provided by the Hub would enable ORECon to test a multi unit array in an area specifically established for that purpose. This has the potential to reduce the large costs at a critical stage of the Company's route to market. Wave hub will also be a key commercial aid for growth and diversification of the South West's marine industry.'

Matthew Spencer, chief executive of Regen SW, the renewable energy agency for the South West of England, said: 'This in-depth study confirms that the South West really does have a chance to be a world centre for wave energy. Detailed discussions can now start with government to pin down funding for Wave Hub .I expect a number of wave companies to now start negotiations about securing an option to be the first customers at Wave Hub.'

Feasibility studies
Over the last 10 months a series of detailed studies commissioned by the South West RDA have examined the technical feasibility of Wave Hub, its potential economic impact, the business case for taking it forward and the complex planning and permitting issues surrounding its development.

The studies have concluded that the South West coast of England has among the best wave and tidal streams in Europe, and its strong coastal grid connections make the region ideal for the Wave Hub project.

It could create 100 jobs directly, and be a catalyst for the creation of an entire new industry building on the South West's traditional strengths of maritime and engineering expertise.

The South West RDA is now identifying a range of support measures to encourage device developers to manufacture in the South West and export their expertise around the globe.

The indirect benefits of such an industry are calculated at up to 450 new jobs and £15 million a year to the regional economy by 2010, rising to around 700 jobs and £27 million a year by 2020. At least 40% of these jobs and 20% of the GVA benefits could be realised in Cornwall.

Location of wave hub

The Wave Hub would be located on the sea bed within the UK's territorial limit, approximately 10 miles out to sea. Wave energy converters on or just below the surface would be linked to the wave hub, and an electricity cable would run under the sea floor to connect it to the national grid on land.

Taking account of wave and tidal streams, shipping lanes, the fishing industry, grid connectivity and the environment, an ideal location for the Wave Hub has been identified off the coast of Hayle, in North Cornwall.

Hayle already has a direct connection to the national grid, allowing a total capacity of up to 30MW.

The proposed location for the Wave Hub is now undergoing detailed wave energy monitoring following the deployment last month of a wave measuring buoy by Regen SW, the renewable energy agency for the South West of England, which was set up by the South West RDA, and key regional partners, in 2002.

Funded by £195,000 of private sector investment from RWE npower, the buoy is transmitting real time wave climate data from off the North Cornwall coast, which will help wave energy companies develop their designs and prove the suitability of the site.

Next steps

The South West RDA has today published the results of the feasibility studies on the wave hub website at www.wavehub.co.uk.

The next step will be to secure development funding for the project, estimated at £1.42 million, to undertake detailed environmental assessment work and firm up the engineering details, obtain all legal permits and leases, complete the business plan for the project and prepare legal contracts with device and project developers.

At the same time, the South West RDA will be identifying potential funders for the estimated £12.42 million construction costs of the wave hub. This will include discussions with the DTI on whether the project could qualify for funding under the department's £50 million Marine Research Deployment Fund.

Energy Minister Mike O'Brien has said that £8 million of the fund could be used for infrastructure projects like Wave Hub that support the deployment of large scale pre-commercial demonstration wave and tidal farms. The remaining £42 million has been earmarked to provide capital and revenue support to wave device developers.

The South West RDA will also investigate whether the project could secure funding from the European Objective One Programme for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. The European Commission has recently said that the wave hub would qualify as being within the geographic Objective One area, despite being 10 miles offshore.

The positive results of these studies will help the South West to maintain its momentum as the leading region for the development of wave power.

Copy ends
February 11, 2005

Notes to editors
The South West RDA commissioned Halcrow Group Ltd to undertake the technical feasibility study for the proposed Wave Hub project. International consultancy Arthur D Little prepared the full economic assessment and business plan for the development of the project, and commercial lawyers Bond Pearce provided legal analysis for the unique and complex planning and permitting issues relating to the project. Copies of all three reports have been posted on the Wave Hub website at www.wavehub.co.uk

The South West of England Regional Development Agency was created in April 1999 to further the economic development and regeneration of the area; to promote business efficiency, investment and competitiveness; to promote employment; to develop the skills relevant to employment; and to contribute to sustainable development.

For more information please contact:
Dominic Vincent
Environment Manager
South West Regional Development Agency

Jason Clark
Tel: 01872-276276
Email: jason@dclark.co.uk

Surfers Against Sewage:  news release, 26 Sept 2006

Wave Hub - The Movie

Click here to view the animation.

Support for Wave HubSince SAS were first invited three years ago to attend meetings about the construction of a wave energy project 12 miles of the coast of St Ives, we have been pushing heavily for the possible impact it could have on the surf to be investigated.

Our challenge was taken up by scientists at the Camborne School of Mines (part of the University of Exeter in Cornwall). The report they produced on the back of their investigation has since been peer reviewed (a very lengthy process where other independent scientists read it, check its accuracy and recommend any changes) and it has now been accepted for publication in the journal Ocean Engineering. Peer review basically means that other top scientists in the field have deemed this report scientifically sound.

In their study, an advanced computer modelling package called SWAN (Simulating WAves Near-shore) was used to replicate the physical processes that occur in the real world. The Wave Hub was modelled as a 4km long partially transmitting obstacle (i.e. a barrier that removes some but not all of the wave energy that passes through it – exactly how the wave energy devices attached to the Wave Hub would behave). The model was run using nearly a years worth of wave data. In a nutshell, what they did was run the model twice, once with the Wave Hub in place, once without, and then analyses the difference.

The study was repeated using a range of energy transmission coefficients (a figure representing how much energy passes through the Wave Hub area) from 0% (i.e. no energy gets through – an impossible scenario) to 90% (only one tenth of the energy gets absorbed). This last scenario was deemed to be the most realistic estimate of what would occur at the wave hub site.

The animation shows how the predicted wave height difference changes through the 11 month period. It can be seen that the position of the wave shadow varies significantly. This is due to differences in offshore wave direction.

The results of the model suggest that if the Wave Hub was built, it would result in an average reduction in wave height at the shore of 1cm or less (a reduction of 0.31%) with a maximum reduction of 4cm (or 2.3%). The impact on wave period was so small that it was deemed negligible. As well as overall average and maximum values, data was also presented about the likely impact at several popular surfing beaches. This has been summarised in the table below.

  Average Change Maximum Change
Meters % Meters %
Gwithian 0.01 0.36 0.02 1.08
Porthtowan 0.01 0.47 0.02 0.97
Perranporth 0.00 0.65 0.03 1.63
Fistral 0.00 0.38 0.02 1.06
Newquay Bay 0.00 0.12 0.01 0.88
Watergate Bay 0.00 0.19 0.01 0.79
Constantine Bay 0.00 0.18 0.01 1.15
Harlyn Bay 0.00 0.17 0.01 1.67

The study finally concludes by saying ‘There is little cause for concern that effects introduced by the Wave Hub will be felt by shoreline users of the sea.’ To paraphrase this sentence, this study suggests that any impact resulting from the Wave Hub will be of a scale so tiny that it will not be noticed by surfers.

This independent peer reviewed study should help to allay the fears that have been stirred up in the media over the last few months. Unfortunately, because getting scientific work peer reviewed is understandably a long and rigorous process, this data was not available to counter many of the unsubstantiated comments made in the press during the first few months of summer 2006.

SAS wish to thank Dean Millar, Helen Smith and Dominic Reeve for listening our concerns and carrying out this study.

Reference: Millar, D.L., Smith, H.C.M. and Reeve, D.E. (in press). Modelling analysis of the sensitivity of shoreline change to a wave farm. Ocean Engineering, available on line 24 July 2006.


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