EMEC Wave Test Site - Xodus Group
Client: EMEC
Location: Orkney


The EMEC grid-connected wave test site located on the western edge of the Orkney mainland, at Billia Croo outside Stromness was constructed in 2003. The site is an area with one of the highest wave energy potentials in Europe with an average significant wave height of 2-3 m and consists of five cabled test berths in up to 70 m water depth (four at 50 m, one deeper), located approximately 2 km offshore and 0.5 km apart. In addition there is a near shore berth is situated closer to the substation for shallow water projects.

Xodus (and the former AURORA Environmental Limited) has been providing support to the European Marine Energy centre (EMEC) since the early days of the planning stages of the facility. It has supported both EMEC during the development, consenting and early establishment of its wave test facility, and to developers utilising the site to test their wave energy technologies.

The scope of services provided is summarised below:


  • Site selection study for Highlands and Islands Enterprise (2001)
  • Technical input and facilitation of consultation for the wave test site EIA (2002)
  • Co-author (with Aquatera) of EMEC device specific EIA guidance (2003)
  • Environmental baseline description for the wave test site  (2003 - 2005)
  • Development of an oil spill contingency plan for the wave test site (2003 - 2005)
  • Production of a marine awareness chart for the wave test site (2003 - 2005)
  • Production of the environmental aspects of the integrated management system (legislation register & aspects indetification) (2003 - 2005)
  • Co-facilitation (with EMEC) of an environmental standards workshop which was successful in working towards a consensus throughout the UK on key environmental issues for marine renewables projects (2008)
  • FEPA, CPA, section 36 and Planning applications and supporting environmental documents for Aquamarine Power Oyster 1, 2a, 2b and 2c projects (2005 - 2010)
  • Engineering support to Aquamrine Power 
  • Marine wildlife monitoring of the Aquamarine Power Osyter 1a project
  • Environmental support to consent application for intermediate wave test site (2010)
  • Marine Mammal Observations (MMO) during deployment and retrieval of the Pelamis device (2012 - 2015)
  • Engineering design and consenting support to AWS Ocean Energy (2012)