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Government takes ownership of Cornwall’s Wave Hub

21 Dec 11 A wave energy testing facility off the coast of Cornwall is to be taken into government ownership.

The Wave Hub being lowered into the sea last year
The Wave Hub being lowered into the sea last year

The Department for Business Innovation & Skills (BIS) will take over ownership of the Wave Hub asset on the 1 January 2012from the South West Regional Development Agency (RDA), which is being wound up.

The offshore marine energy project in Cornwall allows developers to test new wave energy technology. Being taken on by the government is intended to secure its future as a part of the UK's green energy sources.

The Wave Hub infrastructure was installed in 2010 about 16km off the North Cornwall coast with the undersea connecting cable coming ashore at Hayle.

BIS has set up a stand-alone operating company, Wave Hub Ltd, to manage the day-to-day operation of the testing facility on its behalf in Hayle.

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BIS and the RDA have been discussing the Wave Hub's future since closure of the RDA was confirmed by the government last summer.

Business minister Mark Prisk said "As part of the transition to a green economy the government is committed to developing clean energy sources including marine. Development of the Wave Hub in Cornwall will bring both environmental and economic benefits to the UK and I am pleased that we are able to take this positive step today."

Claire Gibson has been confirmed as Wave Hub’s permanent general manager, having acted in an interim capacity since May. She said: "This is good news for Wave Hub, for Cornwall and the southwest and for the future of wave energy development across the UK. It secures Wave Hub’s status as a publicly-owned asset, ensures it will continue to be locally run, and reinforces the pivotal role of Wave Hub and Cornwall to the development of a commercial marine energy industry in the UK.”

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