EMEC gains multi-million funding to scale-up testing site

Magallanes' test turbine being installed at Emec
Magallanes' test turbine being installed at Emec

The European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) has announced it will share in a multi-million funding pot to scale-up commercial testing at its Orkney site.

The total funding investment of more than £11.2 million will be shared out over four sites across Europe, with EMEC’s Orkney base acting as the main pilot centre.

The new Interreg project, run through funding from the Ocean Demo programme, will allow the four sites to scale-up multi-machine testing in real ocean environments.

The facility to put a number of devices through their paces will allow developers to move closer to market by demonstrating their technologies at full commercial scale.

Ocean Demo will release a first call for applications this year and devices will be installed from 2020 to 2022.

Oliver Wragg, commercial director at EMEC, said:“We’re delighted to be able to continue the work we started with FORESEA. We were able to demonstrate a wide range of technologies throughout the ocean energy supply chain thanks to Interreg’s support and the efforts of all the project partners.

“With Ocean Demo, we will be able to scale up technologies to pilot farm scale. This will reduce technical risks, minimise environmental impacts and improve the economic competitiveness of ocean energy production. We’re looking forward to collaborating with ocean energy innovators across Europe and help them get machines in the water.”

To date, EMEC has been involved in some of Scotland’s most prominent marine energy projects such as Orbital Marine Power’s tidal turbine and CorPower’s C3 project.

The sites involved in the new funding package are EMEC, the Dutch Marine Energy Centre (DMEC), SEM REV in France and SmartBay based in Ireland.

Remi Gruet, chief executive of Ocean Energy Europe, said: “We are very happy about Interreg’s steady support for ocean energy development in Europe. The ocean energy industry can provide jobs to 400,000 Europeans as well as 10% of Europe’s electricity by 2050.

“Ocean Demo will be another significant step towards those objectives. Multi-device demonstration will strengthen the technology’s business case and attract investors, which will in turn allow the industry to scale up and bring down costs.”