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Partrac Completes Second Year of Surveys at SSE Wave & Tidal Sites

Supporting Wave & Tidal Developments in Pentland Firth and Orkney Waters

Partrac Ltd were awarded the framework contract by SSE Renewables to provide metocean survey services in support of wave and tidal energy developments in the Pentland Firth and Orkney Waters, following the award of Agreement for Leases by The Crown Estate in 2010. Now approaching the second year of survey, the Partrac Marine team have completed surveys at three development sites: Costa Head, Westray South and Cantick Head . During this time, Partrac have completed fifteen seabed mounted RDI ADCP deployments, have had two Datawell waveriders deployed since March 2012 and have undertaken vessel mounted ADCP and bathymetric surveys at one of the development sites.

Each site has their challenges but none more so than that exposed to the notorious Pentland Firth. Here Partrac have had to develop new methods and techniques to collect data in what is widely regarded as the single most challenging location in UK waters, if not the world. The Partrac marine team has deployed equipment here in water depths of over 85m on to unknown, and often difficult, seabed conditions. Some of the locations experience peak tides of over 8 knots during the spring tides.

The Partrac marine team have worked with the available industry standard oceanographic equipment and have adapted equipment and methodologies in order to acquire the high quality data required. Partrac have also worked within the constraints of the regulatory requirements throughout all surveys. To date, Partrac have a 100% success rate, providing the client with full water column current profiles and the wave climate data essential to inform site selection and engineering design. Partrac will continue to provide further metocean monitoring services in and around Orkney, with longer term ADCP deployments scheduled and the continuation of the wave monitoring programme.

Partrac have rolled out this unique expertise to tidal and wave development sites across the UK including sites in Cornwall, South Wales, North Wales and at multiple sites on the west coast of Scotland. Partrac have also developed on this expertise in support of the offshore wind farm Round 2 and 3 developments where we have undertaken 6 to 24 month metocean surveys for our clients.

For more information about Partrac’s offshore renewables expertise please contact Peter Wilson (Director, Wave & Tidal) ( or visit the Partrac website (

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