The offshore marine energy project in Cornwall, which allows developers to test new wave energy technology, will be taken on by the Government to secure its future as a vital part of the UK's green energy sources.
The Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS) will take over ownership of the Wave Hub asset from the South West Regional Development Agency (RDA) on the 1 January 2012.
To manage the day-to-day operation of the testing facility on its behalf, BIS has set up a stand-alone operating company, Wave Hub Limited, which will be based in Hayle, Cornwall. This arrangement will allow the project to build on the operational plans already put in place by the RDA.
BIS and the RDA have been discussing the Wave Hub's future since closure of the RDA was confirmed by the Government last summer. BIS has always recognised Wave Hub's unique position as a nationally-important asset to develop the UK's capacity to generate energy through the power of ocean waves.
Business Minister Mark Prisk said "As part of the transition to a green economy the Government is committed to developing clean energy sources including marine. Development of the Wave Hub in Cornwall will bring both environmental and economic benefits to the UK and I am pleased that we are able to take this positive step today."
Claire Gibson has been confirmed as Wave Hub’s permanent General Manager having acted in an interim capacity since May. She said: "This is good news for Wave Hub, for Cornwall and the South West and for the future of wave energy development across the UK.
“It secures Wave Hub’s status as a publicly-owned asset, ensures it will continue to be locally run, and reinforces the pivotal role of Wave Hub and Cornwall to the development of a commercial marine energy industry in the UK.
“I am delighted to be leading this important project and am absolutely committed to ensuring Wave Hub is a success - supporting companies to prove their technology and delivering economic benefit for Cornwall. I look forward to welcoming our first customer at Wave Hub in the near future.”
Notes to editors:
1. Wave Hub is a grid-connected offshore ‘socket’ in South West England for the large scale testing of technologies that generate electricity from the power of the waves.
2. The Wave Hub infrastructure was installed in 2010 about 16 km off the North Cornwall coast with the undersea connecting cable coming ashore at Hayle.
3. The Wave Hub operating company will assume responsibility from the RDA for the safe and efficient operation of the testing facility from 1 January 2012.
4. Further information about the Wave Hub project can be found at http://www.wavehub.co.uk.
5. BIS's online newsroom contains the latest press notices, speeches, as well as video and images for download. It also features an up to date list of BIS press office contacts. See http://www.bis.gov.uk/newsroom for more information.