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E.ON ditches one wave-energy project for another

largest-renewables-waveEnergy company E.ON and partner Ocean Prospect have withdrawn from the Wave Hub marine power project off the north Cornish coast.

The decision followed E.ON’s purchase of a next-generation Pelamis wave power device to be tested in Orkney. Both E.ON and Ocean Prospect chose to withdraw from Wave Hub “for the time being” so other developers could take advantage of the project.

“Our aim is to concentrate on testing our Pelamis device, which means that it was unlikely we’d be in a position to connect to Wave Hub in the short term,” said Dave Rogers, regional director of renewables for E.ON. “We still believe Wave Hub is an excellent project — and we may well return to it in the future — but our initial goal is to get a machine into the water as quickly as possible, which we’ll be able to do in Orkney.”

“It’s entirely understandable that E.ON wants to test a single next-generation device at the European Marine Energy Centre rather than an array of devices which is what Wave Hub is designed for,” said Nick Harington, head of marine energy at the South West Regional Development Agency, which is developing Wave Hub. “Wave Hub is on course to be built and commissioned next year. We are currently in detailed negotiations with three wave device developers and look forward to the first device being deployed at Wave Hub in 2011.”

The Pelamis trial at the European Marine Energy Centre in Orkney forms part of E.ON’s renewable development portfolio in the UK that, if built, would be able to provide power for around a million homes and to displace two million tonnes of carbon dioxide every year.

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