Wave Hub, the £28 million wave farm off the coast of Cornwall, has been given planning consent. Funding for the scheme has already been approved by the South West of England Regional Development Agency and the wave farm is due to be operational by mid 2009

Up to 30 sea level wave generators are expected to be deployed. These will be connected to an onshore substation via electrical equipment on the seabed and about 16 km of sub-sea cable.

The project will cover an area of sea measuring four km by two km and each wave device developer will be granted a lease of between five and ten years in an area of approximately two square km. The water at the deployment site is approximately 50 m deep.

It is predicted that Wave Hub could generate enough electricity for 7,500 homes, directly saving 300,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide over 25 years. This would support South West England's target for generating 15% of the region's power from renewable sources by 2010.

The consent announcement has been welcomed by Maria McCaffery, chief executive of the BWEA, the trade and professional body for the UK wind and marine renewables industries.

She said: “This is a fantastic confidence boost for this emerging industry. Wave Hub will be a crucial part of the learning curve for everyone with an interest in wave energy development around the world. It’s this kind of progress that makes the UK the global hotspot for the expansion of carbon free energy from the sea and we must ensure it remains so.”