GWave power generation vessel to come to the UK

24 Feb 2017

The first full scale device will be 72 metres long, 22 metres high and 18 metres wide which is a considerable structure

The first full scale device will be 72 metres long, 22 metres high and 18 metres wide which is a considerable structure

One of the largest wave energy projects to be developed worldwide is scheduled to be installed at the Wave Hub test site located off the North Cornish Coast, UK.

Developed by GWave which is based in Portland, Maine in the
US, the Power Generation Vessel (PGV) is a massive ship-sized structure that
will be towed across the Atlantic for installation at the Wave Hub.

GWave has spent the past decade developing its PGV using a
number of smaller prototypes to test the technology. The first full scale
device will be 72 metres long, 22 metres high and 18 metres wide which is a
considerable structure. It is being constructed largely in steel using shipyard
facilities and it will be transported across the Atlantic under tow ready for
installation at the Wave Hub after launching and testing in the US.

Robert Stoddard, GWave's chief executive, said: "Our
project launch at Cornwall's Wave Hub facility will be a critical step in
GWave's programme to bring to market cheap, clean electricity from the ocean”.
Mr Stoddard continued, “The device is a sealed tube with tracks on which are
mounted ‘two freight-train sized weights’. As the units moves in waves these
weights move backwards and forwards and the energy from this movement is
converted into electricity. 

In the conditions expected at the Wave Hub, the PGV is
expected to generate enough electricity to power about 5,000 homes with the
device generating around 9 kW under the right wave conditions. GWave said it
chose Wave Hub because of the type of waves that reach the Cornish coast, and
the infrastructure and industry experience available in the area. Wave Hub is
located off the North Cornish coast at Hayle where it is exposed to the full
force of the Atlantic.

Wave Hub's existing tenants are Carnegie Clean Energy's 1MW
CETO device, which produces renewable power and desalinated fresh water; and
Seatricity's Oceanus device. It is anticipated that the PGV will be installed
next year.

The company is now testing the all-important mooring system
at the Coastal, Ocean and Sediment Transport (COAST) laboratory at Plymouth
University. Weighing in at 32,000 tonnes the mooring system is a critical part
of the installation”.

The company has been working with British companies
including Falmouth-based Mojo Maritime and A&P. "Wave Hub was our
clear first choice for the full-scale demonstration because of the world-class
facility and staff as well as the deep maritime expertise and experience of
South West businesses," Mr Stoddard said.

Claire Gibson, Wave Hub's managing director, said:
"Today's announcement lifts the lid on a well-kept secret. GWave's wave
device is exceptional and we are excited by the prospect of it being
demonstrated at Wave Hub in Cornwall.

By Dag Pike

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