Excavation work begins on Hayle beach

The next stage of the South West Regional Development Agency’s (RDA’s) Wave Hub project gets under way this week with the start of excavation work on Hayle beach in Cornwall.

In the next two weeks, contractor Dawnus Construction will dig a pit to house a connecting block that will join Wave Hub’s offshore cable with onshore cables linked to a new electricity substation.

When Wave Hub’s 25km, 1,300-tonne subsea cable is laid later this summer, it will terminate inside the beach pit and be connected to cables threaded through two ducts that have already been drilled through the sand dunes at Hayle.

These cables will lead back to a substation currently being built on the other side of the dunes and will ultimately connect Wave Hub with the National Grid.

Wave Hub is creating the world’s largest test site for wave energy technology by building a grid-connected socket on the seabed, 16km off the coast of Cornwall, to which wave power devices can be connected and their performance evaluated.

Wave Hub’s cable, which is being manufactured by JDR Cable Systems in Hartlepool, is nearing completion and the RDA has appointed CTC Marine Projects, based in Darlington, County Durham, to deploy the cable and hub during the summer. The substation building is largely complete and the installation of more than £1m of electrical equipment will begin later this month.

Wave Hub is being funded with £12.5m from the South West RDA, £20m from the European Regional Development Fund Convergence Programme and £9.5m from the UK government.