We provide the world’s only multi-berth, purpose-built, open sea test facilities for wave and tidal energy converters.
EMEC’s clients benefit from 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.
Our operations are spread over five sites across Orkney:
- Billia Croo grid-connected wave energy test site, Stromness, Mainland Orkney
- Fall of Warness grid-connected tidal energy test site, off the island of Eday
- Caldale Hydrogen Production Plant, on Eday
- Scapa Flow scale wave test site, off St Mary’s Bay
- Shapinsay Sound scale tidal test site, off Head of Holland
- 75kW Fuel Cell, on Kirkwall Pier
- Combined Heat and Power (CHP) unit, at Kirkwall Airport
- Offices in Stromness and Kirkwall
At the grid-connected test sites there are subsea cables which run from each test berth at sea to a substation onshore where electricity generated on site can then be fed into the UK national grid. The test sites offer:
- Coastal 11kV control and switching stations
- 13 subsea cables connected to the UK grid (seven at the Fall of Warness for tidal energy; five at Billia Croo for wave energy)
- Data transfer by fibre optic cables to allow remote access
- Metered power output from test devices
- Comprehensive SCADA (supervisory control and data acquisition) system enabling real-time monitoring
- Wave, tidal and environmental baseline data collection
- MET stations calibrated to national standards
- Full confidentiality of data
- CCTV monitoring
Scale test site infrastructure:
Scale test site infrastructure:
Our two scale test sites have been designed for testing smaller scale devices in less challenging conditions than those experienced at the grid-connected test sites. These scale sites include:
- Berths with mooring points
- Specially designed test support buoys for electricity dissipation and remote communications with the device
- Area of seabed for rehearsal of deployment techniques
- Simplified consenting process (as EMEC holds the licence)
Hydrogen R&D Ecosystem:
EMEC operates a R&D ecosystem integrating hydrogen production facilities with wind and tidal energy and battery storage technology. Green hydrogen produced at EMEC is stored and used to enable R&D activities to test technologies and assess where green hydrogen and hydrogen-based e-fuels can provide the best solution in a low carbon economy.
EMEC R&D infrastructure features electrolysers, fuel cells, storage and refuelling, for first-of-a-kind and pilot scale projects exploring how to decarbonise power, heat and transport applications. Projects range from renewables integration, storage and logistics, through to derivatives and end-use case demonstrations, particularly within the maritime and aviation sectors.
The world’s first tidal-powered hydrogen was generated at EMEC’s tidal test site in 2017.
EMEC’s hydrogen R&D assets include:
- 670 kW rapid response PEM (Proton Exchange Membrane) electrolyser.
- On-site storage cylinders allowing up 500 kg of hydrogen storage at 200 bar.
- 48 vanadium flow batteries with a combined capacity of 1.8 MWh
- 5 mobile hydrogen storage trailers each with a capacity of 250 kg of storage at 200 bar
- 75kW fuel cell
- Combined heat and power (CHP) unit
- 350 bar mobile hydrogen refueller
- 24 kW re-deployable modular electrolyser
Explore these pages for further information on the facilities provided by EMEC. For information on the services we offer, visit: EMEC Services