Swedish floating wind farm developer Hexicon has completed its acquisition of the Wave Hub renewable energy test site in Cornwall, South West England, paving the way for a GBP 100+ million floating demonstrator project in the Celtic Sea by 2025.
The deal, first announced in May, sees Hexicon through its UK subsidiary, TwinHub Limited, acquire the assets of Wave Hub Limited from Cornwall Council for GBP 2.4 million.
TwinHub intends to develop the site for a 30-40 MW floating offshore wind project and deploy its twin-turbine floating foundation.
Hexicon is working with the engineering, construction, and project management company Bechtel to deliver the scheme.
”TwinHub’s acquisition of Wave Hub is fully in line with Hexicon’s long term ambition of developing large scale floating wind projects capable of delivering consistent and secure renewable energy at the lowest possible cost. We look forward to supporting Cornwall’s aspirations to become a base for floating offshore wind projects in the Celtic Sea,” Hexicon chief executive Marcus Thor said.
The deal was managed by Cornwall Council’s offshore renewable energy company – Celtic Sea Power.
”This deal brings a major international inward investor to Cornwall and is the first step in our ambition to bring commercial-scale offshore floating wind energy to the Celtic Sea. We very much look forward to working with Hexicon to capture the significant economic and environmental benefits of this project for Cornwall and the UK,” Celtic Sea Power’s chair and interim chief executive Steve Jermy said.
Celtic Sea Power has estimated that over 70 per cent of the UK’s energy needs could be met by the energy resource in the Celtic Sea. Installing 3 GW of power could create over 1,500 primary jobs and the export market for floating wind could be worth GBP 3 billion by 2030, generating net additional GVA of GBP 900 million for the local economy.
The Crown Estate has recently given the green light to three floating offshore wind test and demonstration projects in the Celtic Sea, totalling 300 MW. The progress of these projects is subject to the outcome of a Habitats Regulations Assessment.
Taken together, the sale of Wave Hub and these follow-on opportunities from The Crown Estate establish the Celtic Sea as a key region for floating offshore wind development, and represent key steps towards the UK Government’s ambition to deliver 1 GW of floating wind by 2030, Hexicon said. To put this in context, a total of approximately 130 MW of floating wind is currently installed globally.
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; a consent over eight square kilometres of sea with water depths of between 51 and 57 metres, and a 25-year seabed lease option from The Crown Estate.