The application for both a Section 36 electricity consent and a Marine Licence has been submitted to the UK’s Marine Management Organisation and follows Wave Hub’s selection by the Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) in March this year as the preferred location to test a floating offshore wind platform.

US-based naval architecture and marine engineering firm The Glosten Associates is designing the PelaStar tension leg platform prototype in partnership with Alstom, using the Haliade 150-6MW offshore wind turbine.

The aim of the ETI project is to accelerate the commercial application of floating foundations for wind turbines which could open up new deep water areas for deployment and dramatically reduce the cost of offshore wind energy technology.

Important milestone

Wave Hub has applied for consent to operate the demonstrator in one of the four berths over a period of 10 years. 

Wave Hub Managing Director, Claire Gibson, says: “We have been in discussion with key consultees about the design of this demonstrator over the past few months and our consent application takes on board their requirements. This is an important milestone for the project and, if successful, would mean 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 at the prospect of Wave Hub playing a part in its development.

Affordable and cost competitive

Andrew Scott, Programme Manager for Offshore Wind at the ETI, adds: “Our modeling and engineering design projects have shown that floating offshore wind farms could play a key role in providing affordable, secure and sustainable energy for the UK as part of a broader and balanced energy system.

“However, offshore wind must be affordable and cost competitive with alternative generation technologies for it to succeed. That is why we fully endorse Wave Hub’s application for consent to install a floating wind platform demonstrator at the Cornwall-based site.”

In June this year the ETI and Glosten Associates confirmed the appointment of two Cornish companies – marine contractor and vessel owner Keynvor MorLift Ltd (KML) and offshore drilling specialists LDD – to work on an installation study for the pioneering project.

The two companies have been appointed as part of a £4 million Front End Engineering Study commissioned and funded by the ETI which is expected to be completed by the end of the year.

The ETI will then decide in the new year whether to invest up to £21m in the construction and deployment of the demonstrator project.

Our position

The RYA acknowledges the Government's desire to promote renewable energy, however we are keen to ensure the navigational safety of recreational boating around the coast.

You can find out more about our efforts to limit the impact of offshore renewable developments on the navigational rights and safety of recreational boating on our Current Affairs hub.