Arial view of Milford Haven waterway, home to META (Credit: Marine Energy Wales)

The European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC), based in Orkney, Scotland, EMEC has provided on the ground operational support to the Marine Energy Test Area (META) in Pembrokeshire, Wales, progressing the development of the UK’s test centre network.

META consists of eight pre-consented test sites located in and around the Milford Haven Waterway. The centre aims to de-risk the development of marine energy projects by providing the opportunity to test scale and full-scale devices, sub-assemblies and components in sites that are accessible yet representative of real sea environments, with a range of conditions and exposure.

Marine Energy Wales’ META team have drawn on EMEC’s 17 years’ experience and knowledge in setting up and operating wave and tidal test sites. EMEC has supported on test centre best practice and operational procedures.

EMEC Project Officer, Saul Young, has been seconded into the META team for the last six months and, along with support from the EMEC technical management team, has supported META by conducting a facility review including: a gap analysis; development of standard operating procedures (SOPs) for the safe and efficient operation of META; as well as assisting with client management.

The collaboration has brought together key operational stakeholders, including the Port of Milford Haven and ORE Catapult, to inform the procedures which will govern the day-to-day operations at META.

META will now look to build on the significant outputs of the project and establish itself as an operational test centre, facilitating technology developers testing programmes at the META sites.