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Floating wind farm study launched in Cornwall

A £25m floating wind farm could be built off the coast of Hayle in west Cornwall, it has been announced.

The Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) is funding a feasibility study on using the county’s wave hub facility.

The hub is the world’s largest wave energy test site which was put on the seabed off Hayle in 2010.

The study into the hub’s suitability for the wind farm proposal is expected to be completed before the summer.

If it proves successful, the project would see the design, construction and installation of a floating turbine by 2016.

Wave Hub general manager, Claire Gibson, said: “The ETI is looking at funding a single turbine project which would be on a floating platform, to be able to establish if it would work.

“Then hopefully they would be looking to fund more of those floating turbines.”

Dr David Clarke, ETI’s chief executive, said: “The concept for the floating platforms is to be able to access near-to-shore, high wind speed sites off the west coast of the UK, which would bring down the cost of generating electricity, so the Wave Hub site offers some interesting possibilities.”

Miss Gibson added: “We have a particular advantage in that the offshore grid infrastructure and onshore substation are already in place, and we also have a team that has experience of managing the design, consent and installation of offshore energy projects.

“We clearly need to consult with a wide range of groups and other sea users about this opportunity and this forms an important part of the study.”