The European Marine Energy Centre has announced its intention to restructure following a year of change in the global wave and tidal energy market.
The reorganization of the marine and hydrokinetic test site, established in 2003 off the coast of Orkney, Scotland, "will not have a negative impact on the service we provide," EMEC managing director Neil Kermode said, but will "ensure that EMEC retains the capacity to meet the needs of our customers, as well as the wider industry, now and in the coming months and years."
The center offers independent, accredited grid-connected test berths for full-scale prototypes, as well as test sites in less challenging conditions for use by smaller scale technologies, supply chain companies and equipment manufacturers.
Said Kermode in an official release:
The last year has been particularly difficult for the industry, and due to current market conditions, I am going to have to restructure EMEC. Regrettably, this will mean redundancies.
We are all operating in a constrained financial landscape, and funding for R&D is tight, so it is of utmost importance that EMEC remains dynamic and can react quickly to the market as it changes. The restructure will now focus on how we can continue to meet the needs of the industry.
Everyone at EMEC is passionate about making marine renewables work. The company would not be where it is today without their dedication and hard work. We will have to make some very tough decisions over the coming months, and will be consulting with our staff over this period to ensure that they receive the support they need as we go through this process.
EMEC remains committed to delivering first-class services and testing facilities to aid the continued development of a profitable and sustainable marine energy industry, both in Scotland and globally.
The site is arguably the most significant MHK test facility in the world, with a number of prominent wave, tidal and ocean energy companies - including Nautricity, Vattenfall, Alstom and Magallanes having been deployed at EMEC.
HydroWorld.com reported in April that EMEC had joined the Nagasaki Marine Industry Cluster Promotion Association (NaMICPA) of Japan to further the development of marine renewables in Japan.
EMEC recently announced an opportunity for technology developers to test components for free.