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Second tidal turbine a ‘world first’, says Nova

Nova says the deployment of its second turbine in Bluemull Sound makes this the first tidal array to deliver electricity to the grid. Photo: Nova Innovation

THE COMPANY that has successfully installed a second tidal turbine the Bluemull Sound between Yell and Unst says it “heralds a new era” for tidal energy.

Nova Innovation said it had deployed “the world’s first fully-operational, commercial, grid-connected offshore tidal array” in the islands.

The second of three 100kW turbines was deployed alongside the first turbine earlier this month – becoming the first offshore tidal array to deliver electricity to the grid.

Nova said tidal energy could be significant as it is a long-term source of predictable renewable power, unlike other variable forms of renewables.

The first Nova M-100 turbine was installed in March 2016 and has been “generating to full power across all tidal conditions”.

Nova said its commercially-focused approach enabled it to sell and deliver projects “quickly and more cost-effectively than its competitors”.

The turbine blades were made by local firm Shetland Composites. Photo: Nova Innovation

Belgian renewables firm ELSA came in as a partner for the Shetland Tidal Array, with 80 per cent of the supply chain Scottish. The turbine blades were made by local firm Shetland Composites.

Nova Innovation managing director Simon Forrest said: “We are absolutely delighted to be the first company in the world to deploy a fully operational tidal array.

“Deploying a second turbine truly sets us apart and showcases our technology. I would like to thank all our staff, partners and suppliers for helping to make our vision a reality.”

WWF Scotland welcomed the news, with its director Lang Banks describing it as “another major milestone on Scotland’s journey to becoming a fully renewable nation”.

“With some of the most powerful tides in Europe, Scotland is well placed to lead in developing this promising technology, which will help to cut climate emissions and create green jobs right across the country.”

Banks called on the Scottish Government to be ambitious, with its forthcoming energy strategy providing “the perfect opportunity to set out a bold vision for how we could become Europe’s [first] fully renewable electricity nation by 2030”.