In 2005, to support its application for the development of a test site at the Fall of Warness, Eday, the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) commissioned an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), including the production of an Environmental Statement (Foubister, 2005). The Food and Environment Protection Act 1985 (FEPA) and Coast Protection Act 1949 (CPA) licences and other consents as detailed in Table 1 below established the principle for the presence of the test site, but did not cover the deployment of individual tidal devices by developers. Consequently, each developer wishing to deploy their device(s) at the test site must apply to the Regulator (Marine Scotland) for a Marine Licence (and Section 36 consent under the Electricity Act 1989, where total nominal rating of the device is greater than 1MW (Section 36)). In doing so, each developer must provide appropriate supporting information to assess the risk of impact of deploying, operating and decommissioning their device(s) on key natural heritage features and other topics, such as safety and navigation.
|Previous and existing consents||3 CPAs (for the 7 cables) and 1 FEPA for the installation of cable protectors - all have expired. Planning permission for onshore facilities. Marine Licence for the deployment of scientific instrumentation.||Various CPA/FEPA/Marine Licence held by individual developers for device deployments. Includes a temporary cable (#8).|
|TCE seabed lease||15 year lease from Nov 2007. Expires 2022.||N/A|
|Embedded Generation Connection Agreement||Limits total export capacity to 4MW. Expires November 2031.||N/A|
|Existing appraisals||(Non statutory) EIA with ES produced in 2005 to support EMEC’s CPA/FEPA applications. Assesses broad scale generic impacts from presence of test site. Device specific impacts not considered.||Appraisals to support individual developer CPA/FEPA and Marine Licence applications. Each focuses on individual device specific impacts.|
Prior to this Environmental Appraisal document and the associated process becoming current, all applications for individual deployments have required case-by-case appraisal by Marine Scotland, and consultation with Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) and other consultees. For this purpose, all of the documentation produced by EMEC for the original FEPA application in 2005 (e.g. the Environmental Statement (ES) and subsequent updated Environmental Description) has been made available to each developer to support their individual licence applications.
The Scottish Government’s commitment to the capturing of wave and tidal resources through the Pentland Firth and Orkney Waters (PFOW) and Saltire Prize leasing rounds mean that resource demands on Marine Scotland and SNH are increasingly being directed to the assessment of commercial lease sites. Consequently, steps were taken to look at streamlining the appraisal required to inform the Marine Licence/Section 36 consenting process for deployments at EMEC. This, together with a requirement to review and update the EMEC site environmental documentation in order to incorporate findings from wildlife observation data collected at the site since June 2005, has led to the production of this Environmental Appraisal document.
Through funding received from the Scottish Government, EMEC has undertaken a programme of land-based vantage point surface wildlife observations at its test sites. Observations commenced at the Fall of Warness test site in July 2005 and are currently scheduled to end in March 2015. Data collected by this observation programme has been used to inform the appraisals described in Section 4, and the raw data is available to download in Microsoft Excel format from the Marine Scotland Interactive website.
This document aims to pre-appraise potential deployments within the context of the wider test site. The principles for this work are described below. Broadly, however, the appraisals provided in Section 4 of this document support detailed consideration of potential natural heritage impacts to inform the consenting process for deployment and operation of tidal device(s) at the Fall of Warness. The documentation also aims to support the development of mitigation, monitoring and research strategies to facilitate developers at this site, and the wider industry, through an improved knowledge base that supports their commercial aspirations.
The appraisals described in Section 4 of this document and in the subsequent Appropriate Assessment (AA) undertaken by Marine Scotland (available at http://www.gov.scot/Topics/marine/Licensing/marine/scoping/emec) constitute a Habitats Regulations Appraisal (HRA) to support any application for a Marine Licence or Section 36 consent for deployment at any of the berths in the Fall of Warness up until 2022. Where the project fits within the agreed ‘project envelope’ (see Section 2 & Annex 1 of this document) no further appraisal by Marine Scotland will be required. Where a project falls outside the agreed project envelope the developer may be required to provide further information to support any additional environmental appraisal and ensuing AA that may be required.