The Wave Hub development was conceived as a wave energy site to accommodate developers wishing to test arrays of devices. It has four sub-sea electrical grid connections of 1MW, each associated with a 1km x 1km area of sea. It is located approximately 20km north of the town of Hayle on the North Cornwall coast, situated in a depth of approximately 50m. The construction and cable lay were completed during October 2010, and the site is ready for the deployment of WEC. Since the project conception, a large amount of survey, scientific, and research work has been undertaken.
Much of the initial work was completed by contractors for the Wave Hub, in order to fulfil the requirements of environmental assessment procedures, and other permitting processes. This provides a significant data resource for the site, although much of this dates back to 2004-2008. At the time, the consenting procedures for marine renewable energy (MRE) had few precedents, and were based on limited information. Consequently, procedures did not necessarily follow guidelines now in place. A list of reports is provided in Appendix B – List of reports produced for the Wave Hub, and the resources are described under the relevant sections of this document. Where a particular output on this list is referred to in this document, it will be referenced to this table by a number in square brackets, e.g. . Additionally, research support has been provided since 2007 by the Peninsula Institute for Marine Renewable Energy (PRIMaRE), a joint initiative between the University of Exeter and Plymouth University. It operated in parallel with the Wave Hub project, providing independent research into marine renewable energy in the region. Research at the site includes wave and current measurements, biological sampling, oceanographic studies, and surveying. This work benefitted Flowbec 2012 Review of measured and modelled data for the Wave Hub 5 from the foresight available to academic research, and is contributing to the development of best practice for the industry. The resultant body of work serves to provide robust baseline data for ongoing research, on which the potential impact of wave energy conversion can be identified. They also provide high quality data sets (Appendix A: Data sources generated by PRIMaRE) for developers wishing to operate at the site, allowing accurate assessment of the hydrodynamic conditions. This research has contributed to numerous publications, which are listed in Appendix C - Papers Published by UoE and PU PRIMaRE Academics, and more information can be sourced from the PRIMaRE website, www.primare.org.
The PRIMaRE project provided a springboard for research in the South West region. The University of Exeter (UoE), and Plymouth University (PU), have built up significant expertise for research in the field of marine renewable energy. These institutions continue to develop their research, securing funding from a range of sources to continue developing the understanding of physical and environmental processes in this region. The region has recently been named the South West Marine Energy Park by the UK government, demonstrating its central role in the development of wave energy for the UK. As a consequence, the body of research contributing to the understanding of the Wave Hub site and surrounds continues to grow. This supports the continuous monitoring of the site, easing the process for the permits and permissions.
This document provides an overview of the resources available for the description of the natural environment at the Wave Hub site, and surrounding region. It aims to provide the reader with an understanding of the mechanisms that have led to the collection of the data resources, and details on how to access them. Detailed information for key research areas is then presented. The document does not aim to provide results of the data collection and analysis, and the reader is referred to the data sources reviewed.