EMEC Scotland tidal test site lease extended

Fall of Warness EMEC's lease for the Fall of Warness tidal test site has been extended until 2040. Credit: Aquatera

The European Marine Energy Centre’s (EMEC) lease for the Fall of Warness tidal energy test site in Orkney, Scotland has been extended by Crown Estate Scotland until 2040 to support the long-term ambitions and demonstration plans of EMEC’s clients.

Since the site was officially opened in 2007, ten tidal energy companies have tested 19 prototypes. Most demonstration projects involve multiple deployments and operations which over time have evolved to developers using smaller, lower-cost, local vessels.

Neil Kermode, managing director at EMEC, said: “By extending the lease at EMEC’s Fall of Warness tidal test site we can provide our clients, their shareholders and potential investors with long-term assurance for those contracted to test their tidal generators with us.”

He added: “Even as the sector begins to commercialise, we believe that there will still be demand to have a test ground to improve efficiency and reduce costs even further.”

Eight test berths

The Fall of Warness site offers developers of tidal energy technologies eight grid-connected test berths, ranging from 12-50m in depth. It boasts high-velocity tidal flows reaching up to 4m per second (around eight knots).

Orbital Marine Power recently removed its SR1-2000 tidal turbine from the site, following 3GWh of generation during its latest testing period. It is now developing a 2MW tidal turbine, the Orbital O2, which will be installed as part of the FloTEC and ITEG projects in 2020.

The company was recently awarded a marine licence to test the Orbital O2 at EMEC for a project running up to 2039.

By Rebecca Jeffrey

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