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Australian renewables developer Carnegie Clean Energy expanded its operations to Cornwall in 2016, and is set to become the first company to deploy a grid connected wave energy device at Wave Hub, with the 3MW array scheduled to begin contributing to Cornwall’s electrical grid in 2018, producing enough clean energy to power approximately 650 homes.

We met with Angus Nichols, Project Manager to find out why the company chose to deliver their latest venture over 9000 miles away from its head office in Perth,Western Australia. “For wave energy developers Cornwall is one the world’s centres of excellence. Its resources are pretty much unrivalled in terms of the unique geography, but also the infrastructure in place. Wave Hub is a stellar example; it’s the world’s only large scale testing facility capable of taking full scale commercial prototypes, allowing developers to take their devices to that pre commercial stage of testing. It’s also grid connected which means that once the device is deployed it will be providing clean, renewable energy directly to Cornwall’s electricity grid meaning that local communities will be directly benefitting from wave power.”

Despite being among the developers to be scheduled to deploy from Wave Hub, by setting up an office in Cornwall, Carnegie has joined a thriving Marinetech ecosystem. “The breadth of expertise here [in Cornwall] is world-class, and the sector is well connected through organisations like Marine Hub Cornwall, Cornwall Marine Network and the MOR Group. I think there is an appetite within the region’s marine sector for a strong network, we found that over 80 percent of eligible businesses are engaged which is fantastic in terms of understanding and engaging with the local supply chain which is also another of Cornwall’s strengths.” From concept to full scale prototype, Marinetech developers can access facilities to suit their needs. Be that FaBTest, stationed in the calmer waters of the south coast, or the wave power of Wave Hub on the north coast. Cornwall based companies that have forged a global reputation include the James Fisher Group, LLD, Fugro Sea Core and Severn Subsea System contributing millions to the local economy.

Carnegie’s current project is partially funded by European Regional Development Funding (ERDF), however the company is already making plans for how it can contribute to achieving Cornwall Council’s energy target of 100% renewables by 2030.

“Cornwall Council’s commitment to clean energy is fantastic news for developers like ourselves and has allowed us to begin looking ahead to how we can capitalise on the opportunities that will arise over the next few years.”

Angus Nichols, Project Manager, Carnegie

In June 2017 it was announced that Cornwall will become the first region in the UK to introduce geothermal power into the local grid through the United Downs Deep Geothermal Project. The investment not only demonstrates the breadth of opportunity that Cornwall can offer developers in renewables, but further cements the regions progressive view of embracing cleaner, more sustainable ways of powering its communities.

For more information on how Cornwall Trade and Investment can support your renewables project contact our Renewables Specialist Peter Holland.

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