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What is the Wave Hub?

Watch footage of the wave hub touching down on the sea bed in Cornwall

You've been hearing lots about the wave hub, and that it's now been plugged into the National Grid for the first time But what exactly is it...

Well we wanted to know the same thing, so we've dug around to answer some of the all important questions.

If you have a question that we haven't tackled, please email us and we'll try and find out!

Email your questions by clicking here

What is a Wave Hub?

Without being too technical, the wave hub is best described as a 'socket' on the sea bed. When it's plugged in it will link wave power devices to the National Grid.

Footage of the wave hub reaching the sea bed

How will Wave Hub be put together?

The intention is to create a "wet hub" on the seabed, linked to the mainland by a subsea cable. The Hub will consist of a cable distribution unit connected to arrays of wave energy devices floating on or just below the surface. All the underwater equipment is known technology and has been proven in the oil and gas industry.

Just how big is it?

The hub itself weighs in at 12-tonne. The cable it connects to measures up as 25km (15.5 miles). Both were manufactured in north-east England.

Will it be very close to the beach?

The installation of the wave hub will be 16km off Hayle.

When will we see results?

The Wave Hub is due to undergo a series of important tests in the Autumn of this year. If all goes well, then those behind the scheme say it should start delivering power to the National Grid next year.

So how does it work?

Hard not to sound technical here but, the power generated from the wave energy will be fed from the hub on the sea bed to an electricity sub-station in Hayle. It's expected that this will be the world's largest wave energy test site.

What are the benefits for Cornwall?

According to the South West Regional Development agency the construction of the Wave Hub would have a variety of direct and indirect benefits:

  • Recognition of the South West region as a leader in the field of wave power electricity generation
  • Build on the work already carried out by NaREC, EMEC, the Carbon Trust and DECC to establish the UK as the world leader in marine energy
  • Wave Hub will provide developers with the final step towards commercial application of devices and enable future financing of commercial projects.
  • Provide a resource in support of education and training in renewable energy technologies in the South West
  • Be a catalyst for the creation of an entire new industry building on the South West's traditional strength of maritime and engineering expertise. Jobs could be created through the manufacturing, deploying, maintaining and repairing the potentially wide range of devices
  • The production of a significant amount of clean renewable energy in the South West, to meet regional targets.

Email your questions by clicking here

Wave Hub Goes Ahead
14 Jul 10 |  Nature & Outdoors


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