Annex IV distributes metadata forms (questionnaires) to solicit information from developers involved in environmental monitoring around marine renewable energy project sites around the world. This page provides project descriptions, baseline assessment, post-installation monitoring, and links to available data and reports. Content is updated on an annual basis.

Oyster 1 at EMEC

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Project Site Annex IV

Title: Oyster 1 at EMEC
Start Date:
November 20, 2009
Research End Date:
March 01, 2011
Technology Type:
Info Updated:
May 31, 2013
Oyster 1 Device
Project Status: 
Device no longer in the water
Oscillating Wave Surge Converter
Project Scale: 
Single device
Installed Capacity: 
350 kW

The Oyster™ 1 was essentially a wave energy converter located at a nominal water depth of 12m which in many locations is relatively close to the shoreline. The system comprised of a buoyant flap, 18m wide and 10m high, hinged at its base to a sub-frame which sat on 4 pre-installed piles with additional latching anchors into the rock seabed. The surge component in the waves forced the flap to oscillate which in turn compressed and extended two hydraulic cylinders mounted between the flap and the sub-frame to pump water at high pressure through a closed loop pipeline back to shore. On shore a hydro-electric plant consisting of a Pelton wheel turbine driving a variable speed electrical generator coupled to a flywheel. Power flow was regulated using a combination of hydraulic accumulators, an adjustable spear valve, a flywheel in the mechanical power train and rectification and inversion of the electrical output.

Process Status: 

Oyster 1 delivered over 6000 offshore operating hours, survived two winters at sea and performed in line with predictions made from our design model. Oyster 1 also achieved continuous 24 hour generation and successfully demonstrated the feasibility of using wave energy to pump high pressure water to an onshore hydro-electric turbine to create electricity. Oyster 1 generated significant operational experience, learning and data which have fed into the design of Oyster 800.


The Oyster 1 device was built with a two year design life and operated from 2009 until 2011. In March 2011, Orkney Towage & Leask Marine took advantage of calm weather conditions to decommission the device in preparation of the second generation design of Oyster 800.

Licensing Information: 
  • Coastal Protection Act (CPA) licence
  • Food and Environmental Protection Act (FEPA) licence
  • Environmental Protected Species (EPS) licence
  • Town and Country Planning Act Planning Permission
Key Environmental Issues: 

Baseline studies for the Billia Croo test site were performed by EMEC and can be found here.


Key issues considered in the Environmental Statement were:

  • Seabed impacts (during construction)
  • Wildlife Disturbance (during construction)
  • Atmospheric Emissions (during construction)
  • Fisheries impacts (during construction and operation)
  • Navigational risks (during construction and operation)

All of the key environmental issues considered in the Environment statement were assessed as insignificant impacts.

Oyster 1 at EMEC is located in United Kingdom.
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