E.ON quits Wave Hub project

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Energy company E.ON and partner Ocean Prospect have today announced that they have withdrawn from the Wave Hub project off the north Cornish coast.

The company was one of four developers looking at using Wave Hub to ‘plug in’ marine power projects, with E.ON and Ocean Prospect looking at using the Pelamis wave power device at the site, which is due to be built next year.

Following E.ON’s purchase of a next generation Pelamis device to be tested in Orkney, the companies decided to withdraw from Wave Hub for the time being so that other developers could take advantage of the project.

Dave Rogers, regional director of renewables for E.ON, said: “Our aim is to concentrate on testing our Pelamis device, which means that it was unlikely we’d be in a position to connect to Wave Hub in the short term.

 “We still believe Wave Hub is an excellent project – and we may well return to it in the future – but our initial goal is to get a machine into the water as quickly as possible, which we’ll be able to do in Orkney.”

Nick Harington, head of marine energy at the South West Regional Development Agency (SWRDA), which is developing Wave Hub, said: “It’s entirely understandable that E.ON wants to test a single next generation device at the European Marine Energy Centre rather than an array of devices which is what wave hub is designed for. We wish them well and hope to welcome them back in the near future.”

Harrington insisted that E.ON’s decision would not delay the Wave Hub project and that SWRDA was already in talks with other wave energy companies about taking up the spare space.

“Wave Hub is on course to be built and commissioned next year,” he confirmed. “We are currently in detailed negotiations with three wave device developers and look forward to the first device being deployed at Wave Hub in 2011.”