Carnegie Wave Energy Ltd has been awarded £9.6 million of European funding to support its commercial wave energy project off the Hayle coast.

The investment, from the European Regional Development Fund, will support the first phase of Carnegie’s planned 15MW commercial wave energy project at Wave Hub.

Work on the project will commence immediately, with commissioning set for 2018, followed by 12 months of operations.

The project focuses on the implementation of the 1MW stage 1 of a planned phased scheme, for which stage 2 (planned for 2020/21) will deliver a subsequent 15MW commercial array at the same site, offering a commercial return on investment.

Carnegie Waves Energy’s UK CEO, Tim Sawyer, said: “We secured a berth at the Wave Hub in Cornwall in 2014 and it has offered us a unique location in which to drive the business forward. We have been able to forge local relationships with its industrial and academic base and of course, as today’s announcement demonstrates, secure project funding.

“Being able to deploy our commercial generation CETO units at the purpose built, grid connected Wave Hub test site provides project expansion capability, significantly de-risks and accelerates our path to commercialisation.”

The news has been broadly welcomed in Cornwall.

Nicola Lloyd, head of inward investment at Invest in Cornwall, said: “Today’s announcement shows that Cornwall is a place where dynamic and innovative businesses are choosing to locate and importantly – grow.

“The Wave Hub is a great example of the region’s unique proposition. It has unrivalled natural assets, good infrastructure and a talented and motivated workforce and supply chain. The marine renewables sector is exciting and forward-thinking and we look forward to working with new companies who wish to find opportunities here.”

Cornwall Council’s cabinet member for economy and culture, Julian German, added: “Cornwall has made significant investments into marine renewables energy (MRE) with the goal of securing our low carbon future and to create a Cornwall and Isles of Scilly energy market.

“Attracting Carnegie, as a recognised world leading wave energy developer, to Cornwall reflects our long term and continued support to the sector and our world class testing facilities, wave energy resource, exceptional skills and internationally recognised offshore renewables supply chain.”