Swedish floating wind 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 Limited, acquire the assets of Wave Hub Limited from local authority, Cornwall Council, for an undisclosed sum.
The Wave Hub site lies 16 kilometres north of St Ives and Carbis Bay.
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 kilometres 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 51 metres and 57 metres, with one of the best offshore wind resources in Europe, Hexicon said. 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.
Hexicon intends to develop the site for a 30-40 MW floating offshore wind project and deploy their 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 Bechtel, a global engineering, construction, and project management company on the project.
”Hexicon has been active in UK floating wind market since 2014 and sees the acquisition of Wave Hub and the deployment of our twin turbine technology in the Celtic Sea as an essential stepping stone to fulfilling our long term ambition of developing utility scale floating wind projects capable of delivery long term consistent and secure renewable energy at the lowest possible levelised cost of energy,” Hexicon chief executive Marcus Thor said.
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, Chair of Wave Hub Development Services and a director of the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), said: ”This is a milestone agreement with Hexicon to bring their innovative floating wind technology to Cornwall. It will be the first such project in the Celtic Sea and kick-start our regional ambition to see our 3 GW installed by 2030, which could create thousands of jobs and generate hundreds of millions of pounds for local economies.”
Cornwall 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 circa 300 MW, Hexicon said.
The UK is already a world-leader in offshore wind generation and the project will bolster the Government’s target for 40 GW of offshore wind energy by 2030, including at least 1 GW of floating wind power.