OES-Environmental 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.

Tocardo InToTidal - EMEC

Project Site OES-Environmental

Title: Tocardo InToTidal - EMEC
Start Date:
May 01, 2017
Research End Date:
January 01, 2038
Technology Type:
Info Updated:
September 13, 2018
Project Status: 
Device in operation
T2 horizontal axis turbine
Project Scale: 
Single Device
Installed Capacity: 
Phase 1: 275 kW Phase 2: 1.375 MW

As part of the Horizon 2020 EU InToTidal project, Tocardo Tidal Power (Tocardo) has deployed the first phase at the European Marine Energy Centre’s (EMEC) Fall of Warness tidal test site.  The objective of the InToTidal project is to develop and demonstrate the world’s first turn-key floating tidal power plant solution capable of integrating five tidal turbines, termed the Universal Foundation System (UFS). The UFS is a surface-based floating foundation which enables low-cost easy access to the tidal turbines for maintenance purposes, with all installation and service operations undertaken by small readily-available vessels.


Phase one (deployed in May 2017) consists of a modular BlueTEC floating platform (Temporary Foundation System; TFS) which has a single T2 tidal turbine attached (275kW).  This device is anticipated to be operational for up to 18 months and is sited at Berth 8.  Installation and grid-connection of phase one was supported by the EU FORSEA programme.


Phase two will consist of Tocardo’s UFS with five T2 turbines attached.  The turbine from the BlueTec floating platform will be transferred to the UFS structure which will be sited at Berth 6 and the BlueTec platform removed from the test site. The system is due to be tested in 2018/19.


Following the 18-month InToTidal project, the UFS will be used for long-term pre-commercial demonstration of Tocardo’s T2 tidal turbines at EMEC’s Fall of Warness tidal test site.  Eight T2 turbines are planned to be installed across two Tocardo systems.

Electrical connection: For phase one deployment, the existing ScotRenewables SR250 electrical cable was connected to the TFS device. Pre- and post-installation ROV surveys were carried out to survey the position of the cable and termination box.


The European Marine Energy Centre’s (EMEC’s) grid connected tidal device test area in Fall of Warness, Orkney, UK. Water Depth: 33 m. Tidal range: 3 m. Tidal speeds up to 3.7 m/s.


Phase 1 (TFS)

59° 8.771’ N       002° 48.560’ W                 59° 8.771’ N       002° 48.125’ W

59° 8.378’ N       002° 48.125’ W                 59° 8.378’ N       002° 48.447’ W

59° 8.600’ N       002° 48.503’ W                 59° 8.614’ N       002° 48.532’ W

Phase 2 (UFS)

59° 9.082’ N       002° 49.998’ W                 59° 9.083’ N       002° 49.409’ W

59° 8.813’ N       002° 50.000’ W                 59° 8.814’ N       002° 49.410’ W

Project Timeline: 

In November 2017 it was announced that Tocardo plans to retrieve the TFS from the EMEC site. The TFS will be towed from the Fall of Warness site to Isbister Bay until shore operations are ready for recovery.

Licensing Information: 

The European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) has been accredited with the UK Accreditation Service (ISO 17025) since 2005. EMEC has been granted the consents required to install an agreed ‘envelope’ of device types at these sites.

Licences held by EMEC include:

  • Town and Country Planning (Scotland) Act 1997
  • Crown Estate Act 1971
  • Food & Environment Protection Act 1985 Part II Deposits in the sea (FEPA)
  • Coast Protection Act 1949 (section 34) (CPA)
  • Electricity Act 1989 (section 36)

Each developer is required to submit device-specific information to support amendment of these consents to allow installation of their device. This information includes a project summary and details on how the specific device details align with the EMEC environmental description and navigational risk assessment. The following licence applications have been submitted by Tocardo:

  • Marine Licence under Marine (Scotland) Act 2010, Part 4 Marine Licensing
  • Licence to disturb marine species (EPS licence) under The Conservation (Natural Habitats) Regulations 1994
  • Licence to disturb basking sharks (Cetorhinus maximus) under The Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 and the Nature Conservation (Scotland) Act 2004 (W&CA)

Tocardo received consent for the planned deployment from Marine Scotland Licensing Operations Team on 09 March 2017 (licence no. 06266/17/1). The relevant licensing documents can be downloaded from the following link: http://www.gov.scot/Topics/marine/Licensing/marine/scoping/tocardo

Key Environmental Issues: 

The site’s 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).
Tocardo InToTidal - EMEC is located in United Kingdom.

Baseline Assessment: Tocardo InToTidal - EMEC

General Description:

A full appraisal of the baseline conditions at the Fall of Warness site can be found in EMEC’s Environmental Appraisal document, available here: http://www.emec.org.uk/?wpfb_dl=168
A number of residual impacts considered relevant to the InToTidal project are listed below:

ReceptorStudy Description Design and Methods Results Status
  • Physical Environment

Potential for changes to hydrodynamics and physical processes

Desk based study

No important impacts of relevance to hydrodynamics or physical processes are expected from developments at Fall of Warness.

  • Benthos

Introduction of marine non-native species (MNNS; via vessels, devices or other equipment)

Desk based study

Local vessels which follow good practice measures will be used, therefore there is very low potential for introduction of MNNS via vessels.

  • Fish and Fisheries

Introduction of marine non-native species (MNNS; via vessels, devices or other equipment) Benthic fish and shellfish

Desk based study

Local vessels which follow good practice measures will be used, therefore there is very low potential for introduction of MNNS via vessels.

  • Basking Sharks
  • Large Vertebrates
  • Marine Mammals

Potential impacts on marine mammals and basking sharks as a result of support vessel activity, e.g. noise and physical presence

Desk based study

Installation of the turbines will be completed using standard multi-cat type vessels assisted by a RIB.  Installation activities will be completed in a relatively short timescale.

No significant effects on any sensitive species are expected from this low level of vessel activity. 


Post-Installation Monitoring: Tocardo InToTidal - EMEC

General Description:

The Environmental Monitoring Plan (EMP) for the Phase 1 deployment of the TFS can be found at the following link: http://www.gov.scot/Topics/marine/Licensing/marine/scoping/tocardo/pemp0117

A separate PEMP will be created for the Phase 2 deployment of the UFS

ReceptorMonitoring Program Description Design and Methods Results Status
  • Basking Sharks
  • Birds
  • Marine Mammals

Monitoring disturbance from vessel activity, including noise and presence

A Vessel Management Plan will be maintained which will ensure a minimum approach distance is adhered to when passing designated seal haul-outs.

Relevant measures from the Scottish Marine Wildlife Watching Code (SMWWC) will be implemented by Tocardo and all marine contractors. These will include:

  • Speed will be reduced to 6 knots when any marine mammals or birds are sighted within or near to transit routes, where consistent with crew and navigational safety and the completion of constrained operations.
  • A steady speed and course will be maintained where possible if a marine mammal approaches a project vessel.
  • Care will be taken to avoid splitting up groups and mothers and young.
  • Minimum approach distances (as stated in the SMWWC) for vessels on approach to marine mammals and birds will be adhered to, although this may be varied according to species and circumstance. Specifics will be agreed with SNH and listed in the CEMD and implemented.
  • Sudden unpredictable changes in speed, direction and engine noise will be avoided to avoid disturbance to any marine mammals in the vicinity.
  • Rafts of birds will not be intentionally broken up or flushed.

During the seabird breeding season (April to August inclusive) vessel transit corridors will be at least 50m from shore in the vicinity of cliffnesting seabirds to avoid disturbance.

  • Benthic Communities
  • Benthos

Monitoring introduction of marine non-native species (MNNS) (via vessels, devices or other equipment)

Local vessels which follow good practice measures will be used.  The TFS and T2 tidal turbine will be cleaned before transportation by road to Orkney and no new antifouling will be applied.

A Biofouling Management Plan will be maintained which will include details of:

  • Antifouling paints used
  • Biofouling inspections
  • Removal of biofouling
  • Waste management

Biofouling in the area of its origin will be removed before deployment of the TFS device at EMEC.

Anti-fouling paints will be used that comply with AFS convention and national legislation suitable for the specific application. The anti-fouling on the device presently (Intersleek 1100-SR-PIC) conforms to this legislation and convention

  • Basking Sharks
  • Marine Mammals

Monitoring of noise signature of UFS device

Tocardo do not plan to monitor noise from the TFS as it only has one turbine and will be on site for up to 18 months.

The noise signature of the UFS will be monitored using methodologies agreed with Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) and Marine Scotland, and will be addressed in a separate future PEMP for phase two.

  • Basking Sharks
  • Marine Mammals

Entanglement events: Monitoring of GPS location and orientation, the measured loading on the turbines, and the ADCP data, to obtain the status of the device

The status and position of the device will be monitored enabling Tocardo to immediately determine changes or failures in the moorings, and allowing subsequent inspections or maintenance to be undertaken as soon as possible.

Any notable events will be recorded and reported to Marine Scotland no later than 24 hours after observation.

  • Basking Sharks
  • Birds
  • Fish
  • Marine Mammals

Monitoring collision risk with turbines leading to wildlife injury or death

To date, no collision events have been recorded during monitoring around operating tidal turbines at EMEC or indeed at any other tidal turbine deployment. It is recognised however, that monitoring and analysis to date has not yet reached a level to reduce uncertainty around this perceived risk.  To further reduce uncertainty around this issue, fully automated and integrated collision monitoring and data analysis systems are required.

In the absence of cost effective, fully integrated collision risk monitoring systems, combinations of existing instruments, software packages and extensive long-term analysis would be required to detect any potential collision events. This type of near field monitoring would still be highly unlikely to provide data to better inform understanding of evasion and avoidance behaviour which is critical to reducing uncertainty regarding collision risk or data to improve collision risk models to inform EIA/HRA for future projects. 

No specific mitigation or monitoring is proposed for this Phase 1 deployment. This will be agreed with SNH and approved by MS-LOT prior to commissioning of the device. This PEMP is for Phase 1. A separate PEMP and associated monitoring plans for Phase 2 will be developed in consultation with MS-LOT and SNH.

Tocardo will contact ORJIP Ocean Energy to engage the programme’s Steering Group and Network to identify other/additional potential opportunities to undertake strategic research around the device. Tocardo would welcome any support in these endeavours from Marine Scotland and SNH.

Reports and Papers N/A
Research N/A
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