Location of the Wave Hub off the coast of Cornwall
|Location||off Hayle, Cornwall|
|Construction cost||£28 million|
|Owner(s)||Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy|
|Operator(s)||Wave Hub Limited|
|Distance from shore||10 mi (16 km)|
|Nameplate capacity||20 MW|
The Wave Hub is a wave power research project. The project is developed approximately 10 miles (16 km) off Hayle, on the north coast of Cornwall, United Kingdom. The hub was installed on the seabed in September 2010, and is a 'socket' sitting on the seabed for wave energy converters to be plugged into. It will have connections to it from arrays of up to four kinds of wave energy converter. A cable from the hub to main land will take electrical power from the devices to the electric grid. The total capacity of the hub will be 20 MWe. The estimated cost of the project is £28 million.
Wave power is the capture of energy of wind waves to do useful work – for example, electricity generation, water desalination, or pumping water. A machine that exploits wave power is a wave energy converter (WEC).
Hayle is a small town, civil parish and cargo port in west Cornwall, United Kingdom. It is situated at the mouth of the Hayle River and is approximately seven miles (11 km) northeast of Penzance.
Cornwall is a ceremonial county in South West England, bordered to the north and west by the Celtic Sea, to the south by the English Channel, and to the east by Devon, the River Tamar forming the border between them. Cornwall is the westernmost part of the South West Peninsula of the island of Great Britain. The southwesternmost point is Land's End and the southernmost Lizard Point. Cornwall has a population of 563,600 and an area of 3,563 km2 (1,376 sq mi). The county has been administered since 2009 by the unitary authority, Cornwall Council. The ceremonial county of Cornwall also includes the Isles of Scilly, which are administered separately. The administrative centre of Cornwall is Truro, its only city.
The project was originally developed by the South West of England Regional Development Agency (SWRDA).Ownership transferred to the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) on 1 January 2012 in advance of the abolition of SWRDA on 31 March 2012. BIS created an operating company, Wave Hub Limited, to manage the project on its behalf.
The South West of England Regional Development Agency (SWRDA) was one of the nine Regional Development Agencies set up by the United Kingdom government in 1999. Its purpose was to lead the development of a sustainable economy in South West England, investing to unlock the region's business potential. It was abolished along with all the other RDAs on 31 March 2012, with some of its functions being replaced by local enterprise partnerships.
The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) was a ministerial department of the United Kingdom Government created on 5 June 2009 by the merger of the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills (DIUS) and the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR). It was disbanded on the creation of the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy on 14 July 2016.
A total of four device developers will connect their arrays into the Wave Hub. This will allow the developers to transmit and sell their renewable electricity to the UK's electricity distribution grid. Each developer will be able to locate their devices in one quarter of the 3 by 1 kilometre (1.86 by 0.62 mi) rectangle allocated to the Wave Hub. A sub-sea transformer will be provided with capacity to deliver up to a total of 20 MW of power into the local distribution network.
In 2006 three companies were signed on for initial development.The initial partners were Ocean Power Technologies Limited, Fred Olsen Limited and Ocean Prospect.
Ocean Power Technologies (O.P.T.) is a US-owned renewable energy company, providing power generation devices, services and related equipment for the extraction of energy from ocean waves. The company's PowerBuoy technology is theoretically scalable to hundreds of megawatts and the generated energy from Wave Power can be supplied to the grid via submarine cables. Several projects were undertaken around the world, but the economic viability of the theoretical concept has been problematic.
Fredrich Olsen (1891–1986) was a British-born American chemist remembered as the inventor of ball propellant and as a donor to the art antiquities collections of Yale University, the University of Illinois, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
The four Wave Hub sites are now confirmedto be assigned to wave generators from UK-based Seatricity, the Australian company Carnegie Wave Energy Limited and Finnish Fortum. The fourth site is to be used for testing offshore floating wind generators.
CETO is a wave-energy technology that converts kinetic energy from ocean swell into electrical power and directly desalinates freshwater through reverse osmosis. The technology was developed and tested onshore and offshore in Fremantle, Western Australia. In early 2015 a CETO 5 production installation was commissioned and connected to the grid. As of January 2016 all the electricity generated is being purchased to contribute towards the power requirements of HMAS Stirling naval base at Garden Island, Western Australia. Some of the energy will also be used directly to desalinate water.
Fortum Oyj is a Finnish state-owned energy company focusing on the Nordic and Baltic countries, Poland, Russia and India. Fortum operates power plants, including co-generation plants, and generates and sells electricity and heat. The company also sells waste services such as recycling, reutilisation, final disposal solutions and soil remediation and environmental constructions services, and other energy-related services and products e.g. consultancy services for power plants and electric vehicle charging. Fortum is listed on the NASDAQ OMX Helsinki stock exchange and shares the number one position in the Carbon Disclosure Project's (CDP) Nordic climate index.
The project was financed by the South West of England Regional Development Agency (£12.5 million), the European Regional Development Fund Convergence Programme (£20 million) and the UK government (£9.5 million).
The European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) is a fund allocated by the European Union. Its purpose is to transfer money from richer regions, and invest it in the infrastructure and services of underdeveloped regions. This will allow those regions to start attracting private sector investments, and create jobs on their own.
Wave Hub could generate £76 million over 25 years for the regional economy. It would create at least 170 jobs and possibly hundreds more by creating a new wave power industry in South West England.
Wave Hub could save 24,300 tonnes of carbon dioxide every year when displacing fossil fuels. This would support South West England's target for generating 15% of the region's power from renewable sources by 2010.
The first device to be associated with the Wave Hub was Seatricity's Oceanus 2 device, which was moored there in June 2014. The Seatricity device does not produce electricity directly, but is designed to pump water under pressure several miles along a pipeline back to the shore to drive a turbine. Seatricity was taking advantage of the Wave Hub's licence to operate wave energy devices at that location.
Over a two-year period, Seatricity's device was only on site for a few weeks, accumulating data on the pressures achieved by their pumping system, but it was never connected to the shore. Trials were brought to an abrupt halt when the tether broke in comparatively mild weather in August 2016, close to the end of their licence period. The device never experienced winter storms.
In March 2018 it was announced that the Australian wave energy company Carnegie had cancelled its plans to test a wave-energy device at the Wave Hub. An American company, Gwave, was due to install a device later in 2018, but that too has been postponed. By March 2018, no electricity had been produced at the Wave Hub..
May 2019 as a result of lack of income to cover maintenance and ongoing costs the Wave Hub is to be decommissioned and removed.
Tidal power or tidal energy is the form of hydropower that converts the energy obtained from tides into useful forms of power, mainly electricity.
The Pelamis Wave Energy Converter was a technology that used the motion of ocean surface waves to create electricity. The machine was made up of connected sections which flex and bend as waves pass; it is this motion which is used to generate electricity.
The production of renewable energy in Scotland is an issue that has come to the fore in technical, economic, and political terms during the opening years of the 21st century. The natural resource base for renewable energy is extraordinary by European, and even global standards, with the most important potential sources being wind, wave, and tide.
A wave farm – or wave power farm or wave energy park – is a collection of machines in the same location and used for the generation of wave power electricity. Wave farms can be either offshore or nearshore, with the former the most promising for the production of large quantities of electricity for the grid. The first wave farm was constructed in Portugal, the Aguçadoura Wave Farm, consisting of three Pelamis machines. The world's largest is planned for Scotland.
Renewable energy in the United Kingdom can be divided into production for electricity, heat, and transport.
The Aguçadoura Wave Farm was a wave farm located 5 km (3 mi) offshore near Póvoa de Varzim north of Porto in Portugal. The farm was designed to use three Pelamis Wave Energy Converters to convert the motion of the ocean surface waves into electricity, totalling to 2.25 MW in total installed capacity. The farm was officially opened on 23 September 2008, by the Portuguese Minister of Economy. The wave farm was shut down two months after the official opening in November 2008.
The European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) Ltd is a UKAS accredited test and research centre focusing on wave and tidal power development based in the Orkney Islands, UK. The Centre provides developers with the opportunity to test full-scale grid-connected prototype devices in unrivalled wave and tidal conditions. The operations are spread over five sites:
Pelamis Wave Power designed and manufactured the Pelamis Wave Energy Converter – a technology that uses the motion of ocean surface waves to create electricity. The company was established in 1998 and had offices and fabrication facilities in Leith Docks, Edinburgh, Scotland. It went into administration in November 2014.
New Zealand has large ocean energy resources but does not yet generate any power from them. TVNZ reported in 2007 that over 20 wave and tidal power projects are currently under development. However, not a lot of public information is available about these projects. The Aotearoa Wave and Tidal Energy Association was established in 2006 to "promote the uptake of marine energy in New Zealand". According to their 10 February 2008 newsletter, they have 59 members. However, the association doesn't list its members.
Evopod is a unique tidal energy device being developed by a UK-based company Oceanflow Energy Ltd for generating electricity from tidal streams and ocean currents. It can operate in exposed deep water sites where severe wind and waves also make up the environment.
The Oyster is a hydro-electric wave energy device that uses the motion of ocean waves to generate electricity. It is made up of a Power Connector Frame (PCF), which is bolted to the seabed, and a Power Capture Unit (PCU). The PCU is a hinged buoyant flap that moves back and forth with movement of the waves. The movement of the flap drives two hydraulic pistons that feed high-pressured water to an onshore hydro-electric turbine, which drives a generator to make electricity. Oyster is stationed at the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) at its Billia Croo site in Orkney, Scotland.
Marine energy or marine power refers to the energy carried by ocean waves, tides, salinity, and ocean temperature differences. The movement of water in the world’s oceans creates a vast store of kinetic energy, or energy in motion. Some of this energy can be harnessed to generate electricity to power homes, transport and industries.
A tidal stream generator, often referred to as a tidal energy converter (TEC), is a machine that extracts energy from moving masses of water, in particular tides, although the term is often used in reference to machines designed to extract energy from run of river or tidal estuarine sites. Certain types of these machines function very much like underwater wind turbines, and are thus often referred to as tidal turbines. They were first conceived in the 1970s during the oil crisis.
The Aegir wave farm was a planned wave farm off the south west of Shetland. The project was developed by Aegir Wave Power, a 2009 formed joint venture of Vattenfall and the wave power technology developer Pelamis Wave Power. The wave farm would have had capacity from 10 MW potentially up to 100 MW. Following the collapse of Pelamis in November 2014, the project was cancelled by Vattenfall in February 2015.
Richard Yemm is the British inventor of the Pelamis Wave Energy Converter and was director of the former Pelamis Wave Power, a company he founded in Edinburgh in 1998. In 2014 he co-founded a new company, Quoceant, who are engineering consultants specializing in marine energy and technology innovation.