Photo: Milford Haven Waterway (Courtesy of Marine Energy Wales)

META test center moves closer to operational phase

The development of the Marine Energy Test Area (META) project in Pembrokeshire has made significant progress under the guidance of the European Marine Energy Centre’s (EMEC) know-how.

A photo of Milford Haven Waterway (Courtesy of Marine Energy Wales)
Milford Haven Waterway (Courtesy of Marine Energy Wales)

Scotland’s EMEC has provided on the ground operational support to Welsh META, following the signing of the collaboration agreement from April 2020.

Marine Energy Wales’ META team have collaborated with EMEC, drawing on their 17 years of experience and knowledge in setting up and operating wave and tidal test sites, to obtain support 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, developing 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. 

The best practice provided by EMEC over the last six months will be invaluable to the success of this next step and META, and EMEC will continue to work closely together going forward, the centers informed.

Bethan Simes, META Project Manager, said: “EMEC have almost two decades of extensive operating experience that we were able to draw on in developing our operating procedures for META. The learning and best practices that have been shared from the EMEC team have been invaluable in progressing META to the operational phase, meaning we haven’t had to reinvent the wheel and enabling us to get off the ground quickly.

“We look forward to a continued collaborative relationship with EMEC, as together these projects provide key innovation hubs in our respective regions and by working together, we can help accelerate this industry to the benefit of the UK and to reach our net-zero targets”.

Elaine Buck, Technical Manager at EMEC, added: “This collaboration has been a great success, allowing EMEC’s test centre best practice to be shared and implemented effectively, to set up META for its operational phase.

“This project is a great example of the value in collaboration to strive for a globally successful marine energy industry. We wish META all the best going forward as an operational test centre and look forward to future collaborations between EMEC and META”.

META consists of eight pre-consented test sites located in and around the Milford Haven Waterway, whose aim is 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 still representative of real sea environments, offering a range of conditions and exposure.