Permission sought for giant floating wind turbine off Cornish coast
A formal application has been submitted to erect the UK’s first floating wind turbine off the West Cornwall coast.
The 200 metre high structure will be plugged into the pioneering Wave Hub, the project to harvest renewable energy 16km off the coast of Hayle.
Managing director of Wave Hub, Claire Gibson, said that if consent was gained, the enormous turbine could be plugged into one of its four berths as early as 2015.
She said the structure would be visible from the land, but only as a speck on the horizon.
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“We have had a really positive response so far from the local community,” she said.
“It’s barely visible when you compare that to all the ships that anchor in the bay.”
The application, made to the Marine Management Organisation, follows Wave Hub’s selection earlier this year by the Energy Technologies Institute as the preferred location to test a floating offshore wind platform.
The device has been designed by US naval architecture and marine engineering firm The Glosten Associates.
Wave Hub has applied for consent to operate the demonstrator for up to 10 years.
Is permission is granted, it will be the first device to plug into the £30 million Wave Hub, a giant socket on the seabed which will form the world’s biggest experiment into the viability of generating electricity through the power of the sea.
It had been hoped that the first tenant of the Wave Hub would be provided by the Irish firm Ocean Energy Ltd, who are planning a massive device weighing the equivalent of one-and-a-half jumbo jets.
However, Ms Gibson said there had been some delays in this aspect of the scheme.
A second wave energy machine which could plug into the Wave Hub is currently being tested in a ‘nursery’ in Falmouth Bay.
Wave Hub have also revealed that they have taken a deposit for a third berth, but would not disclose the client.
Ms Gibson said the plans for the floating wind platform were exciting and represented a great step forward for Wave Hub.
“We have been in consultation about the design of this demonstrator mover the past few months and our consent application takes on board their requirements.
“Today is an important milestone for the project and if successful would mean that we have all the necessary consents in place for the floating wind demonstrator.
“The UK Government’s recently published offshore wind strategy recognises the enormous potential of the industry and we are excited as the prospect of Wave Hub playing a part in this development.”
A consultation on the scheme has begun. Details of the application are available from the |Marine Management Organisation public register at www.marinelicensing.marinemanagement.org.uk/mmo/fox/MMOpublicregister
Representations must be made within 28 days.