Orecon, which is a spinout business from the University of Plymouth, has already raised US$24 million of private investment for the development of its wave energy buoy using high efficiency oscillating water column (OWC) technology with multi resonant chambers (MRC).
Wave Hub will be built about 10 miles offshore and be connected to the National Grid. The hub will act as a giant ‘socket’ into which wave energy device developers can plug their devices and carry out pre-commercial testing. The first wave energy devices are expected to be deployed in 2011.
Nick Harrington, Head of Marine Energy at the South West Regional Development Agency (RDA), which is leading the Wave Hub project, says: “We are now tendering for the electrical equipment and sub-sea cable, have agreed a new design that potentially gives us more generating capacity as technology evolves, and have applied for a safety zone around the project.
“Orecon is at a crucial stage in developing its technology and we hope Wave Hub will be the springboard to full scale commercialisation.”
Orecon replaces Australian Oceanlinx at the Wave Hub, which has decided to make its next deployment in Australian waters after receiving a grant from the Australian Government.
An independent economic impact assessment has calculated that Wave Hub could create 1800 jobs and inject £560 million in the UK economy over 25 years. Almost 1000 of these jobs and £332m could be generated in the South West.