Orkney Islands Council has invested in major infrastructure projects to provide the marine renewables industry with upgraded and new-build pier and quayside facilities at key locations throughout the islands.
The developments, at Lyness, Hatston and Stromness, will support the trialling of technologies at EMEC, the Orkney-based European Marine Energy Centre, as well as the future development of commercial scale wave and tidal arrays in the Pentland Firth and Orkney Waters.
At Lyness, on the island of Hoy, a former wartime naval base has undergone a comprehensive makeover – giving it a new lease of life as a multi-purpose logistics base for the wave and tidal energy sectors.
The £2.98 million development – which attracted 40 per cent support from the European ERDF fund – has resulted in the upgrade of two wharfs and the creation of a large laydown area.
Wave energy converters are now a familiar sight at Lyness, tied up alongside the wharfs when not undergoing sea trials at the wave test site operated by EMEC.
“We’re delighted with the response from the industry,” said Michael Morrison, the Council’s Business Development Manager. “It’s good to see a range of developers of wave and tidal technologies using the newly upgraded facilities at Lyness.
“There is also keen interest in the quayside laydown area for the assembly and maintenance of devices and as a logistics hub for support services.”
At Hatston, near Kirkwall, a 160-metre extension to the existing 225-metres pier was completed in 2013.
This £8.4 million development attracted £3.4 million in ERDF funding, and provides a major support and logistics base strategically located for developers trialling technologies at EMEC’s tidal test site off the island of Eday.
The three ports strategy will be complete once a new 100 metre pier at Coplands Dock in Stromness is in place.
“The strategy will result in pier and quayside facilities in important locations for the future development of the marine renewables sector,” said Michael Morrison.
“Lyness and Stromness are well placed to support the testing of wave technologies at EMEC’s Billia Croo test site. Hatston is the ideal location to support the development of tidal technologies at EMEC’s Falls of Warness test site off Eday.
“Looking further ahead to the commercial deployment of wave and tidal arrays in the Pentland Firth and Orkney Waters, these three facilities will have a vital role to play.
“The Council recognised at an early stage how important marine renewables would be to the economy of our islands and to Scotland as a whole.
“Significant investment in our three ports strategy means there are firm foundations in place to maintain and enhance Orkney’s world leading role in this important new sector.”