Floating test centre gets approval

In: Windfarms
The Marine Management Organisation (MMO) has approved the revised Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and granted a consent variation to Wave Hub Ltd for its offshore energy test site.

Wave Hub was originally designed to be a purpose built wave energy test facility located off the north Cornwall coast. Unfortunately, wave energy technology has not progressed as quickly as the industry had forecast hence Wave Hub Ltd are looking to diversify the Wave Hub site so it can also accommodate floating wind and hybrid wind/wave technology.

In particular:
1. Up to four floating wind turbines with a maximum blade tip height of 220 m above sea level; or
2. Up to three hybrid floating wind and wave technology devices; or
3. A mix of floating wind or wind and wave hybrid technology.

As well as associated infrastructure including; up to 24 mooring lines, up to 24 anchors and up to four dynamic umbilical cables, which will be located within the boundaries of the existing Wave Hub site.

There is no anticipation of additional onshore or offshore infrastructure. Transmission facilities already include an onshore substation at Hayle and a 25 km, 35 kV subsea cable.

On 19th November the MMO granted approval of a new EIA and  the consent variation submitted in February 2020 to increase the project capacity to 40 MW. The following conditions also apply:
a) Construction works should not start later than November 2025.
b) Construction should not start if a decommissioning plan is required by the Secretary of State.
c) The project and any consequential marine licence application for the Wave Hub area, must remain within the designated by the approved EIA area.

Because the project's capacity is less than 100 MW, so the developers will not have to submit for a consent through the Planning Inspectorate. A Marine Licence for the physical anchoring of any floating wind and hybrid technology on the seabed will be applied for separately by developers when the technical details are more set in stone.

Wave Hub plan to initiate construction and installation in Q2/Q3 2022 and operations from 2023.  The project aims to fast-track the construction of large scale floating offshore wind farms in the Celtic Sea from the mid-2020s onwards.

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