Cork-based Ocean Energy has landed a major deal to provide the world’s largest grid connected offshore marine energy test site in Cornwall with its first energy-creating device.
Ocean Energy expects to deploy its first full-scale device costing €9million at Wave Hub off the north coast of Cornwall by the end of this year.
The Irish firm has been testing a quarter scale prototype of its OE Buoy in Galway Bay for three years.
The company with its technology partner Dresser-Rand, the largest service provider in the oil and gas industry, was one of a number of companies competing for the opportunity to win the Wave Hub contract.
The full-scale unit has the capacity to generate sustainable energy to power up to 1,200 homes.
Wave Hub will fund Ocean Energy’s deployment costs up to a maximum of £1 million (€1.2 million). This includes the cost of securing a marine licence and installation of moorings and deployment.
John McCarthy, chief executive and co-founder of Ocean Energy said hailed the deal as a major achievement for Irish technology, which has been developed with the assistance of Irish government funding and expertise at the UCC Hydraulics and Maritime Research Centre.
“It is also an endorsement of the technology development path adopted by Ocean Energy.”
He said that the rigorous testing and proven survivability of Ocean Energy’s technology was a key driver in winning this opportunity for their device. Ireland, with its resources and technical capabilities, has the potential to become the world leader in wave energy and Ocean Energy plans to play its part in making this a reality.”
Wave Hub general manager Claire Gibson said: “I am pleased to confirm our partnership with Ocean Energy Limited and look forward to assisting them with their deployment at Wave Hub later this year. Ocean Energy has completed three years of prototype testing in energetic sea conditions and is ready to make the next step to Wave Hub with a full-scale device. If the testing goes well we expect to see Ocean Energy deploy an array of devices at Wave Hub.”
According to a recent study by SEAI – Sustainable Energy Authority Ireland – the Irish wave energy industry has the potential to employ 50,000 people by 2030 and could generate over four times our current installed capacity or 30,000 MW of power. Denmark is the world leader in wind energy development and earns €6 billion annually from the industry, which employs 30,000 people.