Billia Croo wave test site

National projects

Here is a range of national projects we are involved in, please click on the links to find out more.

Offshore Renewables Joint Industry Programme (ORJIP) - Ocean Energy

ORJIP logo

ORJIP Ocean Energy is a joint industry project funded by The Crown Estate, Marine Scotland, and the Welsh Government.

Aim: ORJIP-OE aims to bring industry, regulators, funders and researchers together so that the wave and tidal energy sectors’ consenting risks can be addressed in a strategic and co-ordinated manner, avoiding duplication of efforts and in turn leading to a reduction in delay to projects.

EMEC role: EMEC provides technical support to the ORJIP Ocean Energy Secretariat.

Timescale: 2015/16


Underwater Acoustic Monitoring at Wave and Tidal Energy Sites: Guidance Notes for Regulators

Aim: To provide regulators with a greater appreciation of the key aspects of underwater acoustic data gathering. Specifically: what should be measured; how should measurement be undertaken; common pitfalls to avoid; and what to look for in an underwater acoustic data gathering and analysis report.

EMEC role: In April 2013 EMEC facilitated an underwater acoustics workshop aimed at regulators of marine renewable energy activities and their statutory environmental advisors.

Timescale: 2013


Underwater Acoustic Monitoring - Guidance Notes For Regulators

The provision of guidance to inform the simplification of marine renewable energy development application

Aim: EMEC and Xodus Aurora were commissioned by the Scottish Government to produce a guide that developed a streamlined consenting process for marine renewable projects in Scotland, and provided detailed information on the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and Habitats Regulations Assessment (HRA) processes.

EMEC role: EMEC led on streamlining the consenting process and supported Xodus Aurora with the EIA and HRA elements.

Funder: Scottish Government

Timescale: 2009 to 2010

Outputs: see Draft Marine Renewables Licensing Manual

A review of the potential impacts of wave and tidal energy development on Scotland’s marine environment

Aim: The Scottish Government commissioned a team including EMEC and led by Aquatera to undertake a desk-based review of the potential impacts of wave and tidal energy development on Scotland’s marine environment

EMEC role: EMEC provided expert input into the project from on our experience in looking at device related environmental interactions on our test sites.

Funder: Scottish Government

Timescale: 2010 to 2011

Flow, Water Column and Benthic Ecology 4D (FLOWBEC)

Aim: This project aims to assess the potential effects of MREDs on the environment, by measuring flow, water column and benthic ecology in four dimensions. A wealth of observation techniques above and under water – ranging from radar to sonar and in situ measurements – are being deployed at three key sites around the UK for a period of over two years. These measurements will feed into models of ecological interactions and habitat preferences, enabling predictions of the multiple effects of large MRED arrays to be made.

EMEC role: EMEC provides direct input to the data collection activities on site and a wider facilitatory role for the diverse range of activities covered in this project.

Funder: National Environmental Research Council (NERC)

Timescale: 2011-2014

Outputs: FLOWBEC – FLOW and Benthic ECology 4D

EIMR2014 Summary Paper FLOWBEC

Understanding how marine renewable device operations influence fine-scale habitat use and behaviour of marine vertebrates (RESPONSE)

Aim: A multi-disciplinary study focussing on causal links between Marine Renewable Energy Devices (MREDs) and changes in the fine-scale distribution and behaviour of marine vertebrates. The overall aim of the project is to identify and quantify the actual risk of negative consequences and therefore remove one key layer of uncertainty in the scale of risk to the industry and natural environment.

EMEC role: EMEC provides direct input to the data collection activities on site, access to a range of in house data sets and a wider facilitatory role for the project.

Funder: National Environmental Research Council (NERC)

Timescale: 2011 to 2014

Optimising array form for energy extraction and environmental benefit (EBAO)

Aim: This project is working to establish and evaluate a design feedback process, which can protect and perhaps enhance the natural environment, whilst allowing energy extraction to be maximised. Engineers are working with project and device developers to establish appropriate development scenarios, which will then be considered using state of the art modelling techniques, to assess the levels of ecological impact across a range of key ecological parameters.

EMEC role: EMEC helps facilitate this project through the provision of industry expertise.

Funder: National Environmental Research Council (NERC)

Timescale: 2011 to 2014


Aim: This project is producing tools capable of accurately estimating the energy yield of major wave and tidal stream energy converters. Numerical models of devices, interactions between devices in arrays and interactions between arrays at the coastal scale are being developed during the project. These models are being validated using extensive scale model tank testing and full scale data from in-service devices where appropriate. It will provide an accurate assessment of the likely cost of energy production from large scale wave and tidal arrays reducing the uncertainty and risk faced by marine array developers, utilities and investors. It will also help facilitate large scale deployment of marine energy arrays.

EMEC role: EMEC was sub-contracted to undertake the Beta testing activities for the WaveFarmer and TidalFarmer software produced in the project.

Funder: Energy Technologies Institute

Timescale: 2011 to 2013

Outputs: see PerAWaT

Pentland Firth and Orkney Waters (PFOW) strategic data study

Aim: The aim of this project was to determine whether strategic wave and tidal measurements in the PFOW area offer the prospect of de-risking the development of the 11 PFOW Commercial projects and if so, identify an approach to such measurements. ‘Strategic’ measurements are measurements which are not primarily or wholly associated with characterisation of a single PFOW project site but which offer the realistic prospect of being useful to multiple projects.

EMEC role: EMEC managed the project and utilised expertise from its in house hydrodynamics team.

Funder: The Crown Estate

Timescale: 2012

Outputs: Report: Scoping study to identify opportunities for strategic wave and tidal measurements in PFOW area

The consolidation of wave and tidal EIA/HRA issues and research priorities

Aim: The Scottish Government commissioned Aquatera to undertake a desk based review of the wave and tidal Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and Habitats Regulations Assessment (HRA) issues and research priorities for the sector.

EMEC role: EMEC sat on a panel of experts that provided direct input into the data gathering process and reviewed the key outcomes before they were presented to a stakeholder workshop in Edinburgh in late 2013.

Funder: Scottish Government

Timescale: 2013

Outputs: Report: The consolidation of wave and tidal EIA/HRA issues and research priorities







Aquamarine Power


Atlantis Resources Corporation



Naval Group

Naval Group


Open Hydro


Orbital Marine




ScottishPower Renewables



Sustainable Marine Energy

Sustainable Marine Energy


Voith Hydro


Wello Oy

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