Marine energy: Fred Olsen’s wave energy plan

Engineering company Fred Olsen completed the installation of its BOLT Lifesaver wave energy converter on Wednesday at the FabTest marine energy test site, which is intended to provide a stepping stone for firms wishing to deploy devices at Cornwall’s existing £42m Wave Hub.

If testing proves successful, the BOLT Lifesaver, which was built by A&P in Falmouth, could eventually be plugged into the Wave Hub socket on the seabed off the coast near Hayle.

Unlike WaveHub, the FabTest site is not connected to the grid, giving developers the chance to test devices in a near shore environment that is easily accessible.

Tests include investigating structural integrity, response behaviour, mooring and umbilical behaviour, subsea components, monitoring systems, and deployment procedures for moderate sea conditions.

Tore Gulli, project director for Fred Olsen, said the move was a major step forward for its wave energy project.

"Through the extensive marine experiences of Fred Olsen-related companies we have learned the considerable value that detailed, careful sea testing of new marine devices offers projects such as BOLT Lifesaver," he said.

Wave Hub general manager Claire Gibson said the deployment marked a major milestone for Cornwall’s marine energy industry.

"It reinforces the status of South West England as the UK’s first Marine Energy Park," she said. "We hope the Lifesaver trials at FabTest go well and look forward to welcoming Fred Olsen at Wave Hub for grid-connected trials of an array of Lifesavers in the near future."