European Marine Energy Centre demonstrates Orkney’s tidal power test site facilities

European Marine Energy Centre, OrkneyThe Orkney-based European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) has released two new videos illustrating the infrastructure now in place at its world-leading grid-connected wave and tidal test sites in northern Scotland.

EMEC offers a range of ready-made and cost-minimising test and demonstration facilities in major wave and tidal resources. Significant infrastructure investments have been made to make it as easy as possible for technology developers to learn by doing, with full confidentiality of performance data.

The European Marine Energy Centre is the only accredited test centre in the world, suitable for testing multiple wave and tidal energy devices simultaneously while producing electricity to the national grid. All income generated by the sale of electricity is returned to the developers, increasing the funds for future industry investment.

Constructed in 2003, the EMEC wave test site is ideally placed on the western edge of the Orkney mainland at Billia Croo – an area with one of the highest wave energy potentials in Europe with an average significant wave height of 2 – 3 metres, but reaching extremes of up to 19m (the highest wave recorded so far). 

The site consists of five cabled test berths in up to 70m water depth, located approximately 2km offshore. These cables transport electricity generated by wave energy converters to an onshore substation, which then feeds it into the national grid. EMEC’s tidal test site at the Fall of Warness is situated just west of the island of Eday, lying in a narrow channel which concentrates the tide as it flows between the Atlantic Ocean and North Sea. 

The site was chosen for its high velocity marine currents which reach almost 4m/sec (7.8 knots) at spring tides.  EMEC offers eight tidal test berths at depths ranging from 12m to 50m. As well as transmitting electricity, both sites utilise a range of environmental monitoring equipment to support the development of marine renewables.

Watch the video here:

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