Orkney-based European Marine Energy Centre forms partnership across the sea with US ‘big brother’

The Pacific Marine Energy Test Centre - part of collaboration with European Marine Energy Centre
The Pacific Marine Energy Test Centre in north-west USA – part of collaboration with the European Marine Energy Centre

The European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) –  which is based in Scotland’s Orkney isles – has signed a partnership arrangement with a similar American centre based in Oregon, Washington and Alaska to encourage knowledge exchange and joint research activities.

EMEC first began collaborating with the Northwest National Marine Renewable Energy Centre in 2012, with EMEC providing support on the design, set up and operation of NNMREC’s Pacific Marine Energy Centre – a grid-connected marine energy test centre proposed for development off the Pacific Northwest coast.

EMEC also advised on the site selection process, stakeholder engagement, preparing development plans and conducting risk assessments.

Of particular interest to both parties in the new deal is the development of methods to facilitate environmental studies around marine energy converters.

Both organisations are developing integrated monitoring technologies – and working in tandem should reduce costs whilst speeding up development of the systems.

NNMREC was established in 2008 as one of three United States Department of Energy National Marine Renewable Energy Centres.

It has since expanded to include marine renewable energy research and development under support from the US Department of Energy, National Science Foundation, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, and Department of Defence. 

Elaine Buck, EMEC Technical Manager, explained: “Developing wave and tidal energy technologies to meet energy demands in a way that is economically viable and environmentally benign is a global challenge: international collaboration is essential to progress with this as efficiently and effectively as possible.

“EMEC and NNMREC have developed knowledge in technical, environmental, and economic aspects of marine renewable energy. Sharing our expertise and taking advantage of economies of scale to answer key research questions is of mutual interest.”
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Belinda Batten, Professor at Oregon State University, and Director of NNMREC said: “Our collaborations with EMEC to date have been invaluable for strategically advancing our ocean test facilities and we’re  most pleased to take our partnership to the next level.”

Jeremy Kasper, Co-Director of NNMREC at Alaska University added: “We’re looking forward to developing a closer relationship with EMEC in order to make rapid advances in successful testing and environmental monitoring of hydrokinetic technologies.”

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