The new testing facility for tidal energy at the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) in Orkney is being officially opened by First Minister Alex Salmond today, (Friday, September 28).
The centre is the first of its kind in the world set up to provide developers of wave and tidal energy devices with a purpose-built performance testing facility. Based in Stromness and Eday, Orkney, it has an international role to play in the advancement of tidal and wave energy technologies.
The centre offers developers the opportunity to test prototype devices in unrivalled wave and tidal conditions. Wave and tidal energy converters are connected to the National Grid via seabed cables running from open-water test berths. Testing takes place in a wide range of sea and weather conditions, with comprehensive round-the-clock monitoring.
In August 2004 EMEC opened its wave site and today (September 28) sees the official opening of the complementary tidal site, enabling EMEC to provide an all round service to the marine renewable energy sector.
First Minister Alex Salmond said: “We are a nation with an abundance of natural resources and massive renewable energy potential. By harnessing the power of the seas, Scotland can become a global leader in green energy. I am delighted that here in Orkney we are going to be at the forefront of that development, with a revolutionary centre enabling marine technologies to be tested, improved and taken to market.
“The reality is that climate change demands our attention and how we are going to tackle it is it is a question we need to address. This new testing facility recognises that need, and that we are in a fantastic position to start providing some of the answers. It is certain to put Orkney on the energy map.”
The new tidal project is sited at the Fall of Warness, off the outlying island of Eday.