Crown Estate grants EMEC extension at tidal test site

The Crown Estate Scotland has granted the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) a significant extension at its Fall of Warness site.

The marine licence organisation extended the Orkney tidal test lease until 2040.

EMEC said the extension would support the “long-term ambitions and demonstration plans of EMEC’s clients”.

Since the site was officially opened in 2007, 10 tidal energy companies have tested 19 prototypes.

Scottish developer Orbital Marine Power recently removed their SR1-2000 tidal turbine from the site, following 3 GWh of generation during their latest testing period.

The firms will now focus on the development of the 2 MW tidal turbine, the Orbital O2, which will be installed as part of the FloTEC and ITEG projects in 2020.

Orbital Marine, the test centre’s longest standing tenant, was recently awarded a marine licence at EMEC for a project running up to 2039.

Neil Kermode, managing director at EMEC, said: “By extending the lease at EMEC’s Fall of Warness tidal test site we can provide our clients, their shareholders and potential investors with long-term assurance for those contracted to test their tidal generators with us.

About 16% of our total energy comes from a renewable source.

“Long term technology demonstration and operation will generate valuable learning for the whole industry, notably around corrosion, reliability and survivability of devices, components and subsystems.

“Even as the sector begins to commercialise, we believe that there will still be demand to have a test ground to improve efficiency and reduce costs even further.”