The European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) already has, or is in the process of obtaining consent for the location and operation of the wave and tidal test sites within Orkney. There is a requirement under some of the consent conditions for EMEC to provide relevant authorities with details of technologies to be tested within its test areas (see Figure 1.1). In addition, EMEC requires developers to demonstrate the consideration of environmental issues in the planning, design, deployment and decommissioning of test devices and to summarise the results of this process in an Environmental Statement (ES).
EMEC, as the first centre of its kind in the world, and as one of the leading organisations in the testing of commercial scale wave and tidal technologies, recognises the importance of establishing high standards for environmental performance and an early understanding of the range and significance of potential environmental impacts. This will ensure the marine energy industry considers environmental implications of its projects/technologies in the early stages of design and development, leading to best practice being carried forward into commercial scale developments.
EMEC operates an Integrated Management System (IMS), which demonstrates a clear commitment to the standard of quality, health, safety and environmental (QHSE) management. The system has been developed to meet the requirements of the internationally recognised environmental standard, ISO 14001, to ensure the highest standard of environmental performance from employees, developers and those visiting the centre.
During the development of this Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) guidance, EMEC consulted with a range of statutory and non-statutory stakeholders to ensure that it would meet their expectations and facilitate the timely review of proposed test site operations.