Cornwall Wave Hub scheme plugged into National Grid

Image caption, The Wave Hub socket has been plugged into the National Grid via an electricity substation in Hayle

An energy scheme off the Cornish coast has been plugged into the National Grid for the first time as part of tests to convert wave power into electricity.

A 12-tonne Wave Hub socket has been laid on the seabed 10 miles (16km) off the coast of Hayle with cables linking it to a new electricity substation.

The £42m project was beset by cable-laying problems in the summer.

However, those behind the scheme say that tests went "without a hitch" when it was plugged into the National Grid.

The Wave Hub is said to have the potential to generate enough electricity to power up to 17,500 homes.

In addition, an independent economic impact assessment has estimated that the project could create about 1,800 jobs and inject £560m into the UK economy over the next 25 years.

Guy Lavender, Wave Hub's general manager, said: "We've been continually testing the integrity of the whole system during the installation process.

"Yesterday [Tuesday] was the first time it was fully energised and plugged into the grid and I'm delighted to say that it went without a hitch.

"From today the system will be permanently energised and monitored so Wave Hub is well and truly open for business."

Next week the final part of the physical installation will take place when a marker buoy is installed to record the Wave Hub's position.

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