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2011 – busiest year yet

2011 has been the busiest year yet on EMEC’s test sites, with many of our clients completing challenging marine works.

On the wave site:

  • Aquamarine Power Ltd began installing their second generation Oyster wave energy device, the Oyster 800;
  • In November E.ON celebrated the first anniversary since the ‘Vagr Atferd’ wave energy project connected to the grid at EMEC, and won the best project award at the Scottish Green Energy Awards;
  • ScottishPower Renewables brought a second Pelamis P2 device to Orkney in November 2011 to sit alongside the EON machine;
  • Finnish company Wello Oy brought their Penguin device to Orkney which was constructed in Riga, Latvia, in June 2011; and
  • Seatricity commenced fabrication of their multiple floats system in September 2011 at their new manufacturing base in Stromness.

On the tidal site:

  • In October 2011 Rolls Royce announced that its subsidiary company, Tidal Generation Ltd (TGL), generated more than 100 megawatt hours (MWh) of power to the national grid since connecting;
  • Atlantis Resources Corporation undertook multiple installations and removal operations of its AR1000 tidal turbine on its subsea berth;
  • Hammerfest Strom UK Ltd successfully installed the HS1000 tidal turbine in December 2011;
  • Voith Hydro and RWE Innogy commenced preparatory works in Summer 2011 by installing the monopile for their 1MW tidal turbine;
  • Scotrenewables deployed the SR250 device at the test site for the first time in March 2011;
  • OpenHydro continued testing their Open-Centre Turbine; and
  • EMEC welcomed Kawasaki Heavy Industries and Bluewater Energy Services as the latest clients to sign contracts for testing at the tidal test site.

Plus on the new scale test sites:
In February 2011, EMEC opened its new scale test sites, bridging the gap between tank testing and full scale prototype testing, enabling developers to test scale devices in more gentle conditions.

  • EMEC welcomed Flumill as the first clients to use the new nursery tidal site in the Shapinsay Sound in September in a project using exclusively local suppliers for installation works;
  • Whilst both AlbaTERN and Nottingham University have signed up to use the nursery wave site in Scapa Flow.

The increase in site activity has resulted in the busiest year yet for the Ops Team and a number of other big projects have kept the team particularly occupied:

  • A number of infrastructure upgrades (funded by DECC) were completed including the installation of switchgear and SCADA equipment for 3 new berths; and the design, planning, installation and operation of onshore services for the scale test sites (incorporating the first deployment of EMECs unique purpose-built test support buoys);
  • Upgrade works at Billia Croo were concluded following the installation of the new subsea cable; and
  • A microwave link was installed on Eday to the Sanday telephone exchange to provide enhanced data services to the tidal test site.

Throughout the year, the research team have:

  • worked on 17 research projects ranging from EMEC site specific projects (including wildlife observations, acoustic characterisation, and fisheries interaction) to UK wide projects (ReDAPT and PerAWat) to EU and international projects (such as EQUIMAR and Oregon Wave Energy Trust).
  • continued to work closely with Marine Scotland to streamline the consenting process for marine energy developers; and
  • facilitated 3 industry wide research groups.

In April, EMEC became involved in the European MaRINET project, coordinating the research and development of wave and tidal devices at all scales and allowing access for researchers and developers into facilities which are not available universally in Europe.

Further afield:

  • In May, EMEC signed a strategic agreement with the Fundy Ocean Research Centre for Energy, to help advance the marine renewable energy industry worldwide; and
  • In December, EMEC signed a contract with the Ocean University of China to provide consultancy support to develop a wave test centre in the Shandong province. A Memorandum of Understanding was also signed to foster closer working relationships between the two companies and Qingdao Municipal Science and Technology Commission.
  • EMEC continues to provide consultancy and work closely with many countries who are planning and building test and demonstration centres around the world.


  • In May, Neil Kermode was awarded the 2011 Lennard Senior Prize from the Society for Underwater Technology which recognises outstanding individual achievement in the field of marine renewable energy;
  • In September, EMEC scooped the accolade for Outstanding Contribution to the Scottish Environment at the third Scottish Green Awards, for its work in testing renewable wave and tidal devices for the energy industry; and
  • EMEC also came Highly Commended in the New Energy Infrastructure Project of the Year category at the Energy Infrastructure Awards 2011 in November.

Industry Involvement:

This year EMEC:

  • hosted over 400 visitors, from near and far, including royalty, governmental ministers, MPs, MSPs, industrial and investment corporations, and a number of media visitors. Visitors included HRH Prince Andrew, the Scottish Energy Minister, the UK Energy and Climate Change Committee, the Chilean Energy Minister, The Saltire Prize Committee and the President of the Institution of Civil Engineers;
  • attended 16 conferences, from All Energy in Aberdeen to conventions in San Diego and New Zealand;
  • participated in 23 working and advisory groups; and
  • were the first to sign the Renewable UK Health and Safety Accord demonstrating its commitment to the safe operation of the renewable energy industry.

As the year draws to a close, Neil Kermode managing director would like to say:

“I am delighted that the heightened activity in the last year has enabled EMEC to become financially self-sufficient. It demonstrates that the public investment which has gone into EMEC is now generating a healthy return. This is great news not just for EMEC but for the industry as a whole as we look for further development opportunities in the future, further advancing the marine renewables industry.

“Site activity has more than doubled over the past year and 2012 is looking to be busier than ever as we welcome new clients on site. We are looking forward to working closely with our new partners overseas, and will continue to look for further collaborative opportunities as the year progresses. We would like to take this opportunity to say thank you to all our clients, suppliers, government and regulatory agencies, visitors from around the world, and everybody in the local community for your continued support and cooperation.

“We hope you have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!”








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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