The Wave Hub project aims to create the world's first grid connected wave energy farm off the coast of Cornwall, UK, from 2007.
A subsea cable would stretch some 16km out to sea, creating an offshore electrical hub that would allow manufacturers to conduct commercial testing going into full-scale production.
From 16 companies that expressed an interest in using Wave Hub, SWRDA has selected three for the first phase of the project. These companies are: Ocean Prospect, which intends to trial up to 10 Pelamis P750 devices developed by Ocean Power Delivery of Edinburgh; Ocean Power Technologies, which plans to install a 5MW project based on its PowerBuoy wave energy converter; and Fred Olsen Limited, which has developed a multiple point-absorber system for energy extraction from the waves.
Work is expected to commence on building Wave Hub next year, with wave generation devices deployed soon afterwards.
Nick Harrington, Wave Hub Project Manager at SWRDA, said: 'We have chosen three companies that are sufficiently advanced with their devices, have the resources to deliver their projects and are committed to working with stakeholders in Cornwall. All three have developed very different technologies.'
Consents are required from the Department of Trade and Industry and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.
SWRDA, which has already committed £2M (US$3.4M) to the Wave Hub project, will also be seeking a private sector partner that would own and operate Wave Hub.