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Cornwall to link wave power farm to grid

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A £15M CONTRACT to lay an undersea cable linking the National Grid to a new wave energy farm 16km off the Cornish Coast was due to go out to tender this week.

South West of England Regional Development Agency (SWRDA) aims to make the farm possible building an electrical 'hub' on the seabed off the north Cornish coast.

Wave energy devices would be connected to the 20MW capacity hub, allowing wave power generators to test proto pes before going into commercial production.

SWRDA has dentified three firms to use the hub already.

'We have chosen three companies that are sufficiently advanced with their devices, have the resources to deliver their projects and are committed to working with stakeholders in Cornwall, ' said SWRDA project manager Nick Harrington.

SWRDA is inviting bids before it has full funding in place.

Funding is being sought from the European Union and the Department of Trade & Industry (DTI).

Planning consent from the DTI and the Department for the Environment, Food & Rural Affairs is also needed.

If funding is secured by the end of the year, the 33kV cable will be ordered to allow construction to take place in spring 2008.

SWRDA will invite separate tenders from firms wishing to own and operate the wave hub in May.

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