News of the month (sept 2004).
European Marine Energy Centre's 1st Birthday.

The very first centre for testing the latest developments in harnessing wave and tidal power The European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) was officially opened 12 Months ago on Orkney in Scotland, and was seen as a real boost to Scotland and the UK's renewable energy industry, the main sites of the project are at switchgear centre at Billia Croo and the main offices and data centre is situated in the Old Academy, in Stromness.

The centre was officially opened by Jim Wallace, Scotland’s Deputy First Minister, who said the opening of the project was "the dawn of a new era for energy production in Scotland". He claimed: "We have a unique and exciting opportunity for Scotland to grab the lead in developing marine energy. EMEC is a vital step along the way to ensuring we take full advantage of this opportunity and the benefits it will bring."

The centre, among the very first of it's type in the world, will provide a unique facility for testing wave-energy generators and other equipment and measure their power output in real conditions. Called The European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) it is claimed that it will help Scotland become a world leader in producing green energy by harnessing the power of the sea and could eventually lead to the creation of more than 7,000 new jobs in the north of Scotland.

Mr Wallace is the Liberal Democrat MSP for Orkney, and he went on to say that: "Today is a hugely significant landmark in the development of renewable energy both for Scotland and the world. "By providing world-class facilities here in Orkney, we will be in a prime position to capitalise on the enormous opportunities provided by this rapidly developing and expanding sector. Indeed, Orkney itself has been identified as probably the best location in Europe for testing commercial-scale devices."


He then continued by saying that: "Opening EMEC is just the first stage in ensuring the marine energy industry develops and achieves its potential here in Scotland. The ongoing success of this centre will be pivotal to the growth of the marine energy sector both in Scotland and throughout the world. A number of developers have already expressed a firm interest in testing their devices here."

Many people including Green ISP are of the opinion that Scotland and The UK's renewables future will depend as heavily on wave and tidal energy as any other renewable energy technology available, success in this sector will help meet renewables energy production targets and help protect the environment by reducing Co2 emissions and tackling climate change.

The centre has already secured its first major customer, an Edinburgh company Ocean Power Delivery (OPD), who are based in Leith and have developed a project known as the "Sea Snake" a full-scale prototype of its Pelamis wave-energy converter and will be asking EMEC to evaluate the power it produces.

The estimated 750-watt "Pelamis" is 120 metres long and 3.5 metres in diameter and weighs 750 tonnes.

The managing director of OPD, Richard Yemm said: "The test centre is a shining example of what can be achieved through timely and appropriate action from the public sector in response to the needs of industry, and cements Scotland’s position at the forefront of this exciting new sector. Through further targeted public and private measures, testing carried out at the site will form the platform for an early move to commercial scale demonstration of our technology."

Lets wish the centre every success in the future.

Visit the Website.

October 2004