Marine-i has welcomed the acquisition of the Wave Hub test site by Hexicon, a move which it believes will help accelerate the growth of floating offshore wind power in the south west.
Part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund, Marine-i is designed to help the marine tech sector in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly grow through harnessing the full potential of research and innovation.
The deal, which was announced this week, will see Hexicon through its UK subsidiary, TwinHub Limited, acquire the assets of Wave Hub Limited from the local authority, Cornwall Council, for an undisclosed sum.
The Wave Hub test site lies 16 km off the north Cornwall coast. Hexicon intends to develop the site for a 30-40MW floating offshore wind project and deploy their innovative twin-turbine floating foundation.
The project, called TwinHub, will be seen as a coup for Cornwall, which has a significant offshore renewable energy supply chain and has worked hard to position the maritime region as a base for floating offshore wind projects in the Celtic Sea.
Commenting on the news, Prof Lars Johnanning, programme director for Marine-i, said: “This is excellent news and a real step forward for Cornwall in its ambition to become one of the world’s leading regions for floating offshore wind technology.
“Hexicon is highly experienced in the field of renewable energy and has already installed some innovative energy projects around the world. Having a major player like Hexicon investing into Cornwall is bound to stimulate interest in the region from other leading international players.
“It will also have a significant knock-on effect for the local supply chain in Cornwall, creating new opportunities for businesses in areas such as fabrication and assembly, mooring, installations and maintenance. Marine-i is looking forward to working with Hexicon and the local SME supply chain to galvanise the emerging FLOW industry through research and innovation.”
Use of the site by Twin Hub for floating offshore wind technologies is ultimately subject to the agreement of The Crown Estate, with whom lease discussions are currently ongoing.