New wave power sites approved

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A ‘wave and tidal current demonstration zone’ is being established off the coast of north Cornwall.

The North Cornwall Demonstration Zone is one of six such areas being set up across the UK by The Crown Estate, which manages the UK seabed.

For the first time it will enable local organisations, in this instance Wave Hub, to manage and sub-let parts of the seabed to a range of wave and tidal current developers.

Wave Hub’s commercial director, Stuart Herbert, said: “Wave Hub has extensive knowledge and expertise relating to the management of offshore renewable energy test sites through all stages of development from feasibility study to infrastructure installation and operation.

“We are delighted to have the opportunity to combine many years of practical offshore test site development and management expertise with the specific local knowledge and established stakeholder network developed by our partners at Cornwall Council.

“The formation of this experienced partnership will ensure that the opportunity to maximise marine energy development in the region is fully exploited.”

Rob Hastings, director of energy and infrastructure at The Crown Estate, explained: “By providing these additional seabed rights we are pleased to be enabling further technology development and commercialisation, which will be critical if the UK is to unlock its significant natural resources for wave and tidal current energy.”

Cornwall Council’s cabinet member for economy and culture, Julian German, welcomed the news and added: “We are hugely encouraged by The Crown Estate’s decision to create this new Demonstration Zone, which will be managed by Wave Hub.

“In the global drive towards the future commercialisation, it is further recognition of the strategic importance of Cornwall in the deployment of marine renewable energy technologies especially in terms of wave and floating wind technologies.”