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Established in 2003, the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) Ltd is the world’s leading facility for testing wave and tidal energy converters – technologies that generate electricity by harnessing the power of waves and tidal streams – in real sea conditions.

The centre offers purpose-built, open-sea testing facilities for prototype technologies, operating two grid-connected, accredited test sites where larger prototypes are put through their paces, as well as two scale test sites where smaller scale devices, subsystems and components can gain real sea experience in less challenging conditions.

Orkney provides an ideal base for marine energy testing with its excellent oceanic wave regime, strong tidal currents, grid-connection, close proximity to sheltered harbour facilities, and a wealth of renewable, maritime and environmental expertise within the local community.

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. To date, there have been more grid-connected marine energy converters deployed at EMEC than any other single site in the world.

EMEC offers a range of services to support technology development from concept to commercialisation, including operational, metocean, environmental and consenting services. EMEC is an accredited test laboratory (ISO/IEC 17025) and inspection body (ISO/IEC 17020), enabling the Centre to provide independently verified performance assessments for wave and tidal energy converters and inspection services to ensure compliance with IEC standards and help innovative technologies commercialise. EMEC is also the world's first IECRE Renewable Energy Testing Laboratory (RETL) for ocean energy.

EMEC is best known for its work in ocean energy development, however its operations have developed significantly through the years and is now working on projects in floating wind, green hydrogen, clean transport and energy systems as well.

Today EMEC is pioneering the development of a green hydrogen economy in Orkney, and has set up an onshore hydrogen production plant in Eday to generate hydrogen from tidal and wind energy. Its demonstration site for new hydrogen technologies is core to its many hydrogen research projects.

EMEC’s sites are also being sought out by companies with alternative real-sea testing needs. For example, a subsea data centre designed by Microsoft was tested at the Billia Croo test site from 2018-2020.