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Scottish Marine and Freshwater Science Volume 5 Number 8: EMEC Billia Croo Wave Test Site: Wildlife Observations Project Annual Report

Annual report of the wildlife observation programme underway at the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) in Orkney.


ANNEX A

Terms of Reference

EMEC has close links with a range of different developers and types of marine energy devices - both wave and tidal - as well as academic institutions and regulatory bodies, whilst maintaining independence from any one body. This gives EMEC a unique and crucial position within the regulatory and research frameworks.

The range of possible impacts of the wave and tidal energy industries is wide and offers the potential for a series of projects and research partnerships between EMEC, developers, academia and other expert bodies. This requires EMEC to work with appropriate experts and regulators to establish and encourage best practice monitoring methods to be associated with devices as they are deployed at the wave and tidal test sites.

Outputs of monitoring projects will initially serve developers who deploy at EMEC, but in the longer term they are expected to serve as an essential resource for both developers and regulators in the licensing of future installations as the industries develop into commercial stages.

In repeated communications between EMEC, key regulators and environmental stakeholder groups (especially Scottish Natural Heritage), the emphasis has been on the unrepeatable opportunity for early research and monitoring associated with these industries, coordinated through EMEC. If the responsibility for device monitoring were to lie with individual developers and/or their different consultants, then there is a high risk that a suite of inconsistent approaches would be adopted, which would not necessarily employ the best available methods, and would risk a piecemeal approach to monitoring becoming the norm.

The EMEC Monitoring Advisory Group EMEC is a vehicle to formally extend and coordinate the ongoing monitoring discussions it has had with regulators and their consultees. Advisors are asked to contribute on specific methods in relation to the devices deployed at EMEC, including both device-specific and generic issues, and taking full account of the scale of deployment at these test sites. The group also provides an ongoing feedback vehicle as monitoring processes are put in place.

The group plans to meet at least three times per year with the following objectives

  1. Translate policy requirements into practical monitoring effort to ensure that the EMEC facility is optimised to meet existing and future monitoring and assessment needs for wave and tidal energy converters.
  2. Oversee the production of relevant monitoring tools and best practice techniques at the EMEC test sites whilst ensuring monitoring effort and methods of data stewardship are compatible with relevant methodologies.
  3. Exchange knowledge and information relating to similar initiatives so as to avoid duplication and establish links with other relevant research programmes at national and international level.
  4. Maintain an overview of emerging research and technology and identify new requirements.
  5. Identify sources of funding available for research and supporting studies.
  6. Undertake an annual assessment of the strategy and goals for monitoring undertaken at the EMEC test sites.
  7. Undertake systematic review and QA of project specific Impact Monitoring reports submitted by developers at EMEC to Marine Scotland, and assess the wider implications and relevance of the methods pursued and results obtained to the Marine Renewables sector in Scotland.

Core parties:

EMEC, Marine Scotland (Science), Marine Scotland (Licensing Operations Team), Marine Scotland (Compliance), Scottish Natural Heritage, Sea Mammal Research Unit, Scottish Government, and the Department for Energy and Climate Change.

Attendees shall be nominated by their respective organisations. No decisions taken at the meetings shall be regarded as binding upon the organisation; however attendees are encouraged to champion actions where possible.

Other key stakeholders ( e.g. particular developers or specialist experts) will be invited to contribute on specific issues as and when required.

Chair: EMEC Research Director

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