FabTest opens for business

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The first device has been installed at Falmouth’s pioneering marine energy test site, FabTest.

Chief Executive of Falmouth Harbour Commissioners, Mark Sansom, with the BOLT “Lifesaver” device

Fred Olsen’s BOLT ‘Lifesaver’ wave energy converter, which is ultimately capable of producing clean and efficient electricity, is now being tested in the sheltered waters off Falmouth Bay, with easy access to the shore.

Cornwall has cemented a growing international reputation for leadership in marine energy research and development, with the Fred Olsen installation perceived as a real success story for the industry.

The device, which was manufactured at A&P Falmouth, could potentially be deployed in more energetic offshore waters at the grid connected Wave Hub site off the Cornish coast near Hayle.

Wave Hub general manager, Claire Gibson, said: “This deployment is a real milestone for Cornwall’s marine energy industry and the partnership between the Falmouth Harbour Commissioners, local companies and academic expertise has been key to enabling this to happen.

“It reinforces the status of south west England as the UK’s first Marine Energy Park. We hope the Lifesaver trials at FabTest go well and look forward to welcoming Fred Olsen at Wave Hub for grid-connected trials of an array of Lifesavers in the near future.”

The Cornwall and Isles of Scilly LEP also welcomed the development, and chairman Chris Pomfret said: “Green energy and particularly realising the potential from the marine environment is a real opportunity for Cornwall where we should be in the vanguard of world development.

“FabTest and Wave Hub are key assets and are significant parts of the South West Marine Energy Park. It will be a great step forward if the test results are positive.”