Atlantis installed one 1000kW tidal energy conversion device (AK-1000), at the Fall of Warness tidal energy test site at the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) in 2011. The device was due to be operational in August 2010; however, due to technical problems the site was delayed until August 2011.
The AK-1000 device operated with two sets of blades fitted on a single unit, which was designed to tackle reflux and flood tides. The diameter of each blade was 18m, which rotated slowly at a rate of six to eight revolutions a minute, resulting in low environmental impact.
The device was installed at European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) tidal device test area in Fall of Warness, Orkney, UK. Water Depth: 33m. Tidal range: 3m. Tidal speeds up to 3.7 m/s.
The AK-1000 tidal turbine was planned to be installed in August 2010 at EMEC’s test sites, Orkney. However, due to construction issues, the installation was delayed until August 2011. After a 12 month period, the Mark 1 nacelle was replaced by a Mark 2 nacelle. The Mark 2 nacelle had identical dimensions as those of the Mark 1 turbine, and was able to maintain a maximum power output of 1MW. Replacement of the turbine nacelle did not require replacement of the Gravity Base Steel Support Structure.
The Mark 2 turbine operated at the EMEC test facility until 2016 when decommissioning commenced.
In 2018, a Marine License was issued under the Marine (Scotland) Act 2010 for the decommissioning of the Gravity Base Steel Support Structure.
As part of the decommissioning plan in 2004, Atlantis Operations Ltd applied for two consultation rounds. The first was sent to 16 DECC (formerly DTI/BERR) specific stakeholders including; The Chamber of Shipping, Historic Scotland, Orkney Fisheries Association and the Orkney Island Council. The second report produced to apply towards specific government departments, including; CEFAS, Marine Scotland, the Crown Estate and The UK Hydrographic Office. The stakeholders had a statutory 30 days to provide consultation Reponses.
The sites seabed ranges from eroding sub-littoral sandbanks in the east to smooth scoured bedrock ridges and platforms with occasional boulders towards the center of the site. Fall of Warness is not a protected area; however, there are protected sites in close proximity. These include:
- Faray and Holm of Faray SAC – protected for its grey seal populations.
- Sanday SAC – Protected for its harbor seal populations, intertidal mudflats and sandflats, inshore sublittoal rock and subtidal sandbanks.
- Muckle and Little Green Holm SSSI – Nationally important grey seal breeding colony (Around 3% of the national breeding population).