Established in 2003, the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) Ltd is the world’s first and leading facility for demonstrating and testing wave and tidal energy converters – technologies that generate electricity by harnessing the power of waves and tidal streams – in the sea.
We offer purpose-built, open-sea testing facilities for prototype technologies. We operate two grid-connected, accredited test sites – the Fall of Warness tidal test site and Billia Croo wave test site – where larger prototypes are put through their paces, as well as two scale test sites where smaller scale devices, or those at an earlier stage in their development, can gain real sea experience in less challenging conditions.
Attracting developers from around the globe, EMEC’s facilities help to prove what is achievable in some of the harshest marine environments while in close proximity to sheltered waters and harbours.
EMEC operates to relevant test laboratory standards (ISO17025) enabling the Centre to provide independently-verified performance assessments. We are also accredited to ISO/IEC 17020 offering technology verification on marine energy converters and sub-systems. EMEC is at the forefront in the development of international standards for marine energy and is forging alliances with other countries, exporting our knowledge around the world to stimulate the development of a global marine renewables industry.
EMEC is best known for our work in ocean energy development, however our operations have developed significantly through the years as we’ve gained unprecedented experience in demonstrating ocean energy technologies, and providing technical and business support to our clients.
Today we’re also pioneering the development of a green hydrogen economy in Orkney, and have set up an onshore hydrogen production plant in Eday to generate hydrogen from tidal and wind energy. Our demonstration site for new hydrogen technologies is a key element of various hydrogen research projects.
We’re also working on projects to support the development of floating offshore wind and wider clean energy systems, including leading the pioneering ReFLEX Orkney project to develop an integrated energy system in Orkney coupling renewable energy with flexible demand assets like batteries and electric vehicles.
EMEC’s sites are also being sought out by companies with alternative real-sea testing needs. For example, we hosted a subsea data centre designed by Microsoft on our Billia Croo test site demonstrating the versatility of our infrastructure.
EMEC was set up to kick start an ocean energy sector in the UK and boost economic development in the Highlands and Islands, and while ocean energy is very much still at the heart of what we do, we are now using our infrastructure, skills and know-how to help the world decarbonise in other areas as well – and demonstrate the clean energy system of the future.