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A&P Falmouth completes manufacture of first device to be deployed at Wave Hub

A&P Falmouth has completed its second major renewables project, after leading wave energy firm Seatricity’s next generation Oceanus 2 device left the docks on Saturday for Wave Hub.

The wave energy converting device – a 10m diameter floating ring made from marine grade aluminium – will be the first device to be deployed for testing at Wave Hub, the offshore renewable energy test facility 10 miles off the coast of Hayle.

The larger rated capacity Oceanus 2 was built in the fabrication workshops, assembled on the quayside and deployed from a wharf at A&P’s shipyard in Falmouth. If testing is successful, it will pave the way for the manufacture of a further 60 devices.

Seatricity plans to develop a full-scale 10MW grid-connected array over the next two years at Wave Hub, just a short distance from the Falmouth shipyard.

We are very proud to have built the first device to be deployed at Wave Hub and we hope we can develop our relationship with Seatricity in the future. Having successfully manufactured, deployed and recovered Fred Olsen’s Lifesaver, the first device to be installed at FabTest, the nursery test site for wave devices in Falmouth Bay, A&P Falmouth has now completed the manufacture of the first device for Wave Hub. This clearly demonstrates our commitment and investment in the marine renewables industry, and shows we have the ability, skills and technical expertise to provide a one-stop shop for developers.

Paul Weston, A&P Falmouth’s Renewable Energy Technical Manager

In the simplest terms the device travels up and down with the waves and operates a pump to pressurise sea water to drive a hydroelectric turbine to produce electricity.

The float is tethered to blocks on the seabed and the pumps are linked together to generate substantial amounts of highly pressurised water. This pressurised sea water can also be used for directly producing fresh water by the reverse osmosis desalination process. Both fresh water and electricity can be produced simultaneously.

The last few years have seen rapid growth for A&P in the industry, thanks to the company’s focus on meeting the needs of renewable energy firms.

Mr Weston added: “We are pleased to be gaining a reputation in the development of renewable devices – we have excellent facilities for fabrication, load out, berthing, commissioning and towing.

“A&P Falmouth has the experience, resources and facilities to sit around a table with developers to help work out the most cost-effective way to manufacture their devices. We are now focusing on providing through-life maintenance for the devices.”

The technology is scalable so once we complete our testing at Wave Hub this year we hope to move quickly to a full array. The final array of up to 60 devices in 2016 will generate 10MWs of electricity - enough to power 10,000 homes - and would be one of the largest wave farms in the world. This, plus the export potential, will also hopefully be good for the Cornish economy in which we hope to play a full part now that we have moved our HQ to Cornwall. It has been a good experience, particularly working with A&P. The company has retained its skills heritage and is now embracing the future in the engineering of today’s marine renewable technology.

Peter Mitchell, Managing Director of Seatricity

Seatricity’s deployment is an important milestone for Wave Hub. We are particularly pleased to see them drawing on the excellent skills and expertise we have available in the local supply chain, which is an important part of Cornwall’s attraction to the offshore renewable energy industry.

Wave Hub Managing Director, Claire Gibson

A&P Falmouth, which has more than 150 years experience in the shipping industry, is positioned on the south coast of the UK in one of the world’s largest natural deep-water harbours. Falmouth is one of the largest ship-repair complexes in the UK, with three large graving docks and extensive alongside deepwater berthing, providing capacity for vessels up to 100,000 tonnes (252.8 x 39.6m).

Offering onsite engineering; electrical, paint and fabrication workshops and links to all other specialist contractors and original equipment manufacturers, which are integrated to provide a complete range of marine repair services to the customer.

As well as extensive workshop facilities across all disciplines Falmouth offers bunkering facilities, the ability to dock without gas-freeing, in-water surveys and propeller polishing.