FaBTest renews The Crown Estate lease

PolyGen's Volta at FaBTest (Photo: PolyGen)

Falmouth Harbour Commissioners have renewed a lease with The Crown Estate to continue using an area of Falmouth Bay for testing of new marine renewable energy technology.

The lease for FaBTest, operational since 2011, has been renewed for further five years, the University of Exeter informed.

The site has seen two different technologies deployed over its operational period so far – Fred. Olsen’s Bolt Lifesaver device, and PolyGen’s Volta wave energy device.

Further deployments are expected this summer, with the next anticipated device being the WaveSub technology, developed by Swansea based company Marine Power Systems.

Lars Johanning, Marine-i lead and FaBTest Project Manager for the University of Exeter, said: “The site offers a combination of both shelter from prevailing wind and swell direction, enabling the high levels of accessibility to deployed devices required for device development, yet giving exposure to significant sea states allowing devices to generate significant electricity.

“This unique feature of the test site is elementary in the development of the marine energy sector, and an important selling point for the South West region.”

FaBTest is a pre-consented, 2.8 km2 test area situated within Falmouth harbor, between three and five kilometers offshore in Falmouth Bay, in Cornwall.

The management and operation of FaBTest is being led by the University of Exeter and supported by Falmouth Harbour Commissioners.

The test is one of the assets identified by the recently launched ERDF funded Marine-i project which aims to stimulate and support business-led and market-driven R&D and innovation.

Although the site was established by the Harbour Commissioners and the University of Exeter with support from leading companies in the local supply chain, it has benefitted from public investment, including £549,000 from the UK Government’s Regional Growth Fund between 2013 and 2016, approved by the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).

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