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The Development of an International WEC Test Centre in the South West of England

[+] Author Affiliations
George H. Smith, Jean Taylor

University of Exeter in Cornwall, Penryn, Cornwall, UK

Deborah Greaves

University of Plymouth, Plymouth, Devon, UK

Nick Harrington

South West Regional Development Agency, Plymouth, Devon, UK

Colin Cornish

Marine Energy Matters, Plymouth, Devon, UK

Paper No. OMAE2009-79920, pp. 1055-1063; 9 pages
  • ASME 2009 28th International Conference on Ocean, Offshore and Arctic Engineering
  • Volume 4: Ocean Engineering; Ocean Renewable Energy; Ocean Space Utilization, Parts A and B
  • Honolulu, Hawaii, USA, May 31–June 5, 2009
  • Conference Sponsors: Ocean, Offshore and Arctic Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4344-4 | eISBN: 978-0-7918-3844-0
  • Copyright © 2009 by ASME


The international wave energy community is in the process of setting up commercial scale wave energy conversion deployment sites of various sizes. At present there are at least five large scale wave energy test sites being planned, or under development in Europe, from Portugal in the South to Scotland in the North with further facilities internationally, for example, those proposed for Oregon and Hawaii. There are also a growing number of developers now reviewing their options for prototype and commercial development of their technologies around the world. The Wave Hub Project will develop a 20 MW, grid connected, infrastructure off the northern coast of Cornwall, UK for installation of pre-commercial devices in summer 2010. This paper briefly describes various aspects of the development of the Wave Hub infra-structure, but focuses on a unique aspect of this development — the establishment of an associated research institute, PRIMaRE (The Peninsula Research Institute for Marine Renewable Energy), to work in parallel with Wave Hub. The aims of the Institute are to (i) undertake relevant research in marine renewable systems; (ii) provide support to the Wave Hub project and the associated developers; (iii) support businesses in the region, to help develop their activity relating to the marine energy supply chain. The progress of the Wave Hub project is described and the research areas within PRIMaRE are also discussed with an emphasis on resource assessment and physical and environmental modeling and the development of major facilities. Finally, the integrated nature of the project and how it will act as a catalyst for local economic development is described — illustrating how infrastructure development, research collaboration and knowledge transfer may work together to create better opportunities for the development of new and existing businesses.

Copyright © 2009 by ASME



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