From Falmouth to Hawaii

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A cutting-edge wave energy converter device trialled in Falmouth is being deployed to its first commercial site.

The Fred Olsen Bolt Lifesaver, the first device tested at the FaBTest site, underwent trials for more than two years and will be shortly arriving at its new location in Hawaii.

The ground breaking FaBTest project, which is the only wave energy testing site of its kind in England, is a two square kilometre area in Falmouth Bay situated 7.5km from the dock’s entrance.

Fred Olsen’s wave energy converter device, Bolt Lifesaver, was at the FaBTest site in Falmouth Harbour for more than two years
Fred Olsen’s wave energy converter device, Bolt Lifesaver, was at the FaBTest site in Falmouth Harbour for more than two years

The scheme was initiated by Falmouth Harbour Commissioners (FHC) and the operational support of the site, as well as on-going monitoring and research, is provided by the Renewable Energy Group from the University of Exeter (based at the Penryn campus).

Alex Whatley, FaBTest operations manager, based at FHC, said: “It’s a really exciting time for the FaBTest project. Having been based in Falmouth, undergoing a period of initial testing, we’re pleased to see the Fred Olsen device head off on the next chapter of its development towards commercial operation.

“Talks are currently underway with a number of international marine companies about the prospect of testing subsequent devices on the FaBTest site and we expect at least one new marine energy device on site this year.”

The Fred Olsen Bolt Lifesaver device has been leased to Sound and Sea Technologies and will be demonstrating the generation of wave energy in the US Navy’s Wave Energy Test Centre at Kaneohe Bay, Oahu in the north Pacific Ocean.