Swedish floating windfarm developer and technology provider Hexicon is to acquire the Wave Hub offshore renewable energy test site in Cornwall, South West England. The deal, which is expected to complete at the end of May, will see Hexicon through its UK subsidiary, TwinHub, acquire the assets of Wave Hub Ltd from local authority, Cornwall Council, for an undisclosed sum.
Hexicon intends to develop the site for a 30-40 MW floating offshore wind project and deploy their innovative twin-turbine floating foundation.
The team will establish how the technology could be brought to market, and explore the roles that local suppliers could play during investigative works, in fabrication and assembly, mooring, and installations, as well as serving the long-term needs of the floating offshore wind industry. Power could be delivered by 2025. Hexicon is working with engineering major Bechtel.
The project will be seen as a coup for the Cornwall authorities. The county has a significant offshore renewable energy supply chain and has worked hard to position the maritime region as a base for floating offshore wind projects in the Celtic Sea, where The Crown Estate recently announced its intention to deliver a new floating wind leasing opportunity for projects of around 300 MW.
The deal does not include Wave Hub Development Services. Cornwall Council will retain this as a wholly-owned business, to provide support to the TwinHub project and other Celtic Sea deployments.
Steve Jermy, chairman of Wave Hub Development Services and a director of the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), said: “This … will be the first such project in the Celtic Sea and kick-start our regional ambition to see our 3 GW installed by 2030.”
Wave Hub Ltd’s assets include a 30 MW grid-connection and agreement with Western Power Distribution (expandable to 40 MW); a four-way seabed hub 16 km offshore and four inter array cables; an onshore sub-station and related land; and a consent over eight square kilometres of sea with water depths of between 51m and 57m, with one of the best offshore wind resources in Europe. Use of the site by Twin Hub for floating offshore wind technologies is ultimately subject to the agreement of The Crown Estate, with whom lease discussions are ongoing.