Fall of Warness tidal test site | European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC)

European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC)
European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC)
Lead Organisation European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC)
Country UK
Type Tidal / Subsea components
Website https://www.emec.org.uk
  • Type of Testing Tidal / Subsea components
    Year Established 2008
    Temperate/Tropical Temperate
    Commercial/Array/Full scale/Scale Full-scale
    Development Status Operational


    Our grid-connected tidal test site at the Fall of Warness is situated just west of the island of Eday - lying in a narrow channel between the Westray Firth and Stronsay Firth. The site was chosen for its high velocity marine currents which reach almost 4ms-1 (7.8 knots) at spring tides. As tides flow from the North Atlantic Ocean to the North Sea, they quicken as they are funnelled through Orkney's northern islands.
    Current meters characterise the tidal and wave conditions on site, and a purpose-built weather station is situated onshore providing real-time met data for the site. This data is fed into a sophisticated SCADA (supervisory, control and data acquisition) system, with live data feeds on the met conditions available to view on our website.
    EMEC offers seven cabled tidal test berths at depths ranging from 12 m to 50 m in an area 2 km across and approximately 4 km in length. In addition to transporting electricity, the cables contain fibre-optics which allow developers to communicate with the devices and transmit monitoring data back to our data centre and office facilities.
  • Number of Berths 7
    Water Depth 12-50m
    Min Water Depth (m) 12
    Max Water Depth (m) 50
    Avg Water Depth (m)
    Annual mean significant wave height
    Maximum recorded wave height
    Mean (averaged current speed)
    Maximum current speed 4 m/s
    Maximum tidal range 2.9 m
    Mean wind speed
    Max wind speed
    Seabed type The seabed ranges from sub-littoral sandbanks in the east of the test site area, to smooth scoured bedrock ridges and platforms towards the centre, with any mobile sands or gravels swept away.
    Total test area (km2) 8
    Distance to land
    Grid connected Y
    Grid connection capacity 4 MW
    Rated export capacity and connection 3.4 MVA
    Proximity to nearest harbour (km) 22km (Hatston Pier, Kirkwall)
  • Demonstration Projects

    R&D Projects


    Seven cabled test berths in 50-70m.
    Metered at point of connection to the EMEC 11kV network, using voltage transformers to IEC60044-2, current transformers to IEC60044-1, power transducers to IEC60688
    Berthing & working areas, office facilities
    SCADA - http://www.emec.org.uk/facilities/scada/

    Equipment available to support site deployments

    3 Datawell Directional WaveriderĀ® buoys (live data)
    Multiple ADCPs, different frequencies.
    Meteorological station (live data)
    Baseline surveys:
    • Hydrographic survey
    • Seabed geology survey
    • Wildlife observations
    • Multiple wave rider surveys
    • Hydrodynamic modelling study
    • Meteorological data
    • Acoustic survey

    Services of test programmes offered on site

    Key supply chain companies in the region

    Supply chain at: www.orkneymarinerenewables.com