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Cornish £60m tidal project to begin contractor search next year after securing EU funds

The search for a contractor to build a £60m tidal project off the coast of Cornwall will begin next year after the project secured funding from the European Union.

Developer Carnegie Wave Energy confirmed to Construction News that tendering for construction contracts would begin next year, with work set to start in 2018.

The project will be located off Hayle on the north coast of Cornwall and provide 15 MW of energy annually.

It was given a £9.6m grant from the EU Regional Development Fund this week.

This will allow the first phase of the Hayle scheme to progress, which will see 1 MW of power connected to the grid in 2018.

The second phase will follow, with the completed project aiming to deliver 15 MW by 2021.

Australian-based Carnegie has been developing wave technology in its home market for years but said it believed there was stronger government support for clean energy in the UK.

Speaking to the Financial Times, Carnegie’s chief executive said he was “surprised and disappointed” by the EU referendum result but had been reassured by Treasury commitments to continue funding EU-financed projects.

Former energy minister Charles Hendry has now handed in a draft report to the government looking at the future of tidal energy projects in the UK.

Mr Hendry and his team have spent the past six months reviewing the cost-effectiveness of future tidal schemes such as Tidal Lagoon Power’s £1.3bn Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon project in south Wales.

The Swansea project is planned to be the first major tidal lagoon project in the country and will be followed by similar projects at Cardiff Bay, Newport and Colwyn Bay in Wales; Bridgwater in Somerset; and West Cumbria.

Speaking in parliament on Tuesday, energy minister Jesse Norman said the government expected the full report to be submitted before the end of the year.

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