FALMOUTH Bay is to become a nursery test site for wave energy. It means up to three devices at a time can be tested in calm waters near to the shore before they are deployed and connected to the Wave Hub.
Falmouth Harbour Commissioners (FHC) and The Crown Estate have signed a lease to create the test site, known as FabTest. The Marine Management Organisation has granted a five-year licence allowing the mooring of the devices.
The announcement this week is the latest step in the creation of the Wave Hub marine energy park in the South West. FabTest, which is not connected to the grid, is a stepping stone to the hub, which will be the world's largest grid-connected wave energy site off Hayle.
The site will be managed by the FHC.
Mark Sansom, chief executive, said: "This means we can offer developers a streamlined approval process for individual devices in an area with a range of depth and seabed types that does not interfere with marine traffic."
Claire Gibson at Wave Hub said: "FabTest complements the growing marine energy assets and expertise we have. It will help device developers on the critical path to commercialisation."
FabTest is a partnership project between FHC, Wave Hub, the University of Exeter (UoE), A&P Group, Cornwall Marine Network and Mojo Maritime.
Mike Reynolds, port operations director of A&P, said: "It is what our customers need to test and develop their devices and systems before looking at deployments further offshore.
"The potential to construct, deploy and service these devices is key to our strategy to grow our business in Cornwall."
The UoE's Cornwall-based marine energy experts first proposed the idea and will help regulate the site.