Wave energy technologies have the potential to play a significant role in the supply of renewable energy on a world scale. One of the most promising designs for wave energy converters (WECs) are fully submerged buoys. In this work, we explore the optimisation of WEC arrays consisting of three-tether buoys. Such arrays can be optimised for total energy output by adjusting both the relative positions of buoys and also the power-take-off (PTO) parameters for each buoy. The search space for these parameters is complex and multi-modal. Moreover, the evaluation of each parameter setting is computationally expensive and thus limits the number of full model evaluations that can be made. To handle this problem, we propose a new hybrid cooperative co-evolution algorithm (HCCA). HCCA consists of a symmetric local search plus Nelder-Mead and a cooperative co-evolution algorithm (CC) with a backtracking strategy for optimising the positions and PTO settings of WECs, respectively. For assessing the effectiveness of the proposed approach five popular Evolutionary Algorithms (EAs), four alternating optimisation methods and two recent hybrid ideas (LS-NM and SLS-NM-B) are compared in four real wave situations (Adelaide, Tasmania, Sydney and Perth) with two wave farm sizes (4 and 16). The experimental study shows that the hybrid cooperative framework performs best in terms of both runtime and quality of obtained solutions.