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Government to run wave power site


A hi-tech underwater "plug socket" that tests ways of producing energy from wave power has been taken over by the Government.

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) announced today that the running of the £42 million Wave Hub, on the seabed off the Cornish coast, will be taken over by a Government-run company at the start of 2012.

The project, which lies 10 miles out to sea and is joined to the National Grid at Hayle, near St Ives, allows the testing of various experimental wave energy devices to gauge their effectiveness in producing electricity and supplying it to the network.

Business Minister Mark Prisk said: "As part of the transition to a green economy the Government is committed to developing clean energy sources including marine.

"Development of the Wave Hub in Cornwall will bring both environmental and economic benefits to the UK and I am pleased that we are able to take this positive step today."

The Wave Hub was created as part of a plan to make Cornwall a centre of "green" technology development. It was originally run by the South West Regional Development Agency (SWRDA), which like the other RDAs across the country has been disbanded by the Government.

Wave Hub Limited, based in Hayle, will take over the management of the Wave Hub on January 1.

Andrew George, the Lib Dem MP for St Ives, welcomed the announcement.

He said: "I am pleased to see that the Wave Hub has been given a significant boost in recent months, achieving an even playing field with Scotland on the subsidy (Renewable Obligations Certificate) and now being given the certainty of full Government backing as it enters its development phase.

"This is a real boost for its future. I look forward to seeing major progress in the next two years."