Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) has shared new seabed data with the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) having completed seabed surveys on the western edge of the Orkney mainland.
The new surveys were carried out as part of SSEN’s proposal to provide a transmission connection to the main GB transmission system.
The collaboration opportunity came to light when EMEC contacted SSEN requesting access to the data to supplement their knowledge of the seabed at their grid-connected wave test site at Billia Croo.
SSEN is providing EMEC with updated bathymetry and side-scan sonar, which have been captured with state of the art technology providing high resolution 3D views of the seabed.
This is supplemented with sub-bottom profiling which will let developers planning to test at EMEC better understand how deep the sand is to support mooring design and configurations, according to EMEC.
Peter Jordan, SSEN Project Manager, said: “We recognize that Orkney is home to some of Europe’s greatest renewable resources and there is a clear need to provide a transmission reinforcement to allow Orkney to realise its vast renewable potential.
“As a responsible developer, we want to ensure that our proposals demonstrate value to local communities and stakeholders and I am glad that we were able to provide this data to facilitate further renewable energy in Orkney.”
John Skuse, Operations and Maintenance Manager at EMEC, added: “EMEC are very grateful to SSEN for providing us with updated bathymetry and site profiling data covering a considerable area of our wave test site at Billia Croo.
“This information will allow developers to better optimize their device and mooring designs with the confidence that they will match the seabed conditions. This will support time and cost savings for developers installing new devices in the coming months and years.”
Subjected to the powerful forces of the North Atlantic Ocean, Orkney has some of the highest wave energy potentials in Europe, with various prototypes being put through their paces at EMEC to learn how best to harness the vast power of the sea.