Wave Hub

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Wave Hub
Location of the Wave Hub off the coast of Cornwall
CountryUnited Kingdom
Locationoff Hayle, Cornwall
Coordinates 50°18′40″N5°31′30″W / 50.31111°N 5.52500°W / 50.31111; -5.52500 Coordinates: 50°18′40″N5°31′30″W / 50.31111°N 5.52500°W / 50.31111; -5.52500
StatusUnder construction
Commission date 2010
Construction cost£28 million
Owner(s) Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Operator(s)Wave Hub Limited
Distance from shore10 mi (16 km)
Power generation
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, [1] 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 Transport of energy by wind waves, and the capture of that energy to do useful work

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 town, civil parish and cargo port in west Cornwall, England

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 County of England

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). [2] 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. [3]

South West of England Regional Development Agency

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.

Department for Business, Innovation and Skills Defunct ministerial department of the government of the United Kingdom

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. [4] 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 confirmed [5] to be assigned to wave generators from UK-based Seatricity, [6] the Australian company Carnegie Wave Energy Limited [7] and Finnish Fortum. [7] The fourth site is to be used for testing offshore floating wind generators. [5] [8]


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). [2]

European Regional Development Fund Fund allocated by the European Union to transfer money from richer regions (not countries), and invest it in the infrastructure and services of underdeveloped regions

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. [9] .


May 2019 as a result of lack of income to cover maintenance and ongoing costs the Wave Hub is to be decommissioned and removed.

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  1. "Wave Hub successfully installed off Cornish coast". The Guardian. 7 October 2010. Retrieved 4 March 2012.
  2. 1 2 "UK: Wave Hub construction underway". DredgingToday.com. Navingo BV. 27 November 2009. Retrieved 18 August 2010.
  3. "Government secures Cornwall's Wave Hub energy project". BBC News. 20 December 2011. Retrieved 14 March 2014.Cite news requires |newspaper= (help)
  4. "Wave Energy Companies Selected for UK Ocean Test Site". Renewable Energy World. 6 February 2006. Retrieved 25 July 2014.Cite news requires |newspaper= (help)
  5. 1 2 "Wave Hub strengthens position at forefront of wave energy array testing globally".Cite web requires |website= (help)
  6. Seatricity Latest News
  7. 1 2 "Wave Hub at full capacity for offshore energy test site". The Cornishman. 1 April 2014. Retrieved 25 July 2014.Cite news requires |newspaper= (help)
  8. "Wave Hub applies for floating wind consent". Wave Hub.
  9. "Wave energy project yet to produce power". 28 March 2018 via www.bbc.co.uk.Cite web requires |website= (help)