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Wave Hub – Offshore Wave Energy Farm

Wave Hub – The World’s Largest Wave Energy Test Centre

Wave Hub is a major marine renewables infra-structure project, 10 miles off the north coast of Cornwall in South West England.  Developed by the South West RDA (Regional Development Agency), Wave Hub is the world’s largest offshore wave energy test centre.  Once connected Wave Hub will provide Wave Energy Converter (WEC) operators opportunities to test an array of full scale wave energy devices over several years in a realistic, fully monitored marine environment.

Wave Hub is essentially creating an ‘electrical socket’ on the seabed, connecting Wave Energy Converter (WEC) devices to the local power grid in North Cornwall.  The power grid connection is via a subsea cable, with an initial capacity of 20MW.  There is the potential to scale up to 50MW in the future.

JDR’s scope of work for this project included a 25km 33kV subsea export cable to provide the essential export link between the Wave Hub and the onshore control room and power grid.  JDR also supplied the subsea connector cables and the subsea protection structure. The JDR-designed equipment was developed at JDR’s advanced manufacturing facility on Hartlepool Dock.

The Wave Hub system comprises an 8km2 offshore WEC berthing area in around 50m of water. The berthing area has four discreet segments.  Each segment enables a WEC Operator to connect its device arrays to the system.  This is achieved using a cable riser connected to one of four 33kV 3 phase JDR-designed Wave Hub Tails tied back to a JDR-designed Wave Hub Chamber.

Each Wave Hub tail includes custom-engineered Dry Mate Connectors to provide compact electrical and fibre optic connections. JDR’s purpose designed Wave Hub Chamber provides a watertight connection between the Wave Hub Tails and the main cable. Within the chamber, the main cable is terminated onto two isolated busbars and fibre optic cables split out to link with those running to each WEC via the integrated Tails and riser cables.

This project drew on a wealth of JDR experience in the design and manufacture of subsea cables and umbilical systems to meet the demanding requirements of this innovative application.  JDR’s quayside facility at Hartlepool Port is ideally sized for the manufacture and load-out of this 1500 tonne cable system, with installation and commissioning supported by JDR’s team of qualified offshore service technicians.