EMEC, established in 2003, is the first centre of its kind to offer developers of both wave and tidal energy converters the opportunity to prototype devices in real sea conditions. With four scale test sites and a thirteen grid-connected test berths, it is home to some of the most innovative marine energy devices currently in development anywhere in the world.
Since 2018 our team has delivered navigation risk assessments (NRAs) for all four EMEC test sites, using a device agnostic methodology together with NRAs for a number of individual developers seeking to deploy devices at test berths.
The NRAs were being used to manage the test sites safely during the marine licence application, together with incorporating the latest status of deployed and planned individual devices across the sites.
The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) required that EMEC review, reassess and update their existing site wide navigational risk assessments, taking account of updates to the key guidance document MGN654.
NASH Maritime were contracted by EMEC to perform the updated site-wide assessment in accordance with the methodology outlined in MGN 654.
Each of the four test sites was reviewed by the NASH team, using a standardised methodology to determine the key navigational constraints at each site, the potential impacts of EMEC activities and the appropriate risk controls to be put in place. This included an update of the baseline assessment of vessel activity (including gathering information via stakeholder engagement) and reviewing historical maritime incidents and near misses that have occurred in the area from 2019 – present day. Key impacts identified and addressed include interaction with fishing gear, ferry navigation in strong tidal streams and adverse weather, and safely managing a dynamic ever-changing marine landscape.
The resulting NRAs provide an effective basis from which developers can prepare for testing their own devices, enabling further development of innovative renewable technologies to support a low carbon future.