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Blog: New animations for EMEC’s wave and tidal test sites

Accredited, grid connected performance testing

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.

We have developed two new videos illustrating the infrastructure provided by EMEC at our grid-connected wave and tidal test sites.

Constructed in 2003, the EMEC wave test site is ideally placed on the western edge of the Orkney mainland at Billia Croo. Subjected to the powerful forces of the North Atlantic Ocean, it is 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 by EMEC 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.

The videos are also available to view on our YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/emecorkney


  • The only accredited test centre in the world, suitable for testing multiple 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.
  • Accredited by the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS), EMEC operates to laboratory standards (ISO17025), providing a unique service – independently verified performance reports.
  • EMEC works closely with regulators to streamline consenting and facilitate environmental monitoring.  Research and Operational Forums give EMEC clients an exclusive platform to share learning and collaborative opportunities.








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