Falmouth could become wave test site

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Falmouth Harbour Commissioners (FHC) has submitted a licence application for an energy test site in Falmouth Bay.

The Falmouth Bay test site, known as FabTest, would enable developers to cost-effectively trial wave energy devices in calm waters with easy access to the shore, prior to linking up to Wave Hub. It would not be connected to the grid.

The FabTest nursery site would give developers the chance to undertake tests to investigate structural integrity, response behaviour, mooring/umbilical behaviour, subsea components, monitoring systems and deployment procedures in moderate sea conditions before deploying their devices in more energetic offshore seas at Wave Hub.

The project is a partnership between FHC, Wave Hub, the University of Exeter, A&P Group, Cornwall Marine Network and Mojo Maritime, all of whom would provide advice, expertise and support to the industry.

FHC chairman David Ellis said: “Cornwall is fast becoming a focal point for marine energy research and development and the FabTest facility will only enhance that reputation. We are looking towards becoming a thriving community concerned with the implementation of marine energy in the south wwest.

“FabTest will give developers the chance to test their devices in a less extreme environment, and will not involve costly deployment offshore. They will be able to test components, system concepts or full-scale devices before progressing to Wave Hub.”

Mike Reynolds, port operations director at A&P Falmouth, said: “We look forward to this important facility being established in Falmouth Bay. We know it is what our customers want if they are to develop their devices before going on to more ambitious deployments.”

The application has been made to the Marine Management Organisation to undertake Marine Energy Works.
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