A FOURTH 100-kilowatt turbine has now been installed at the tidal energy array in Bluemull Sound.
The new direct-drive turbine, called Eunice, is already supplying electricity into the local grid, developer Nova Innovation has said.
It also coincides with the 10th anniversary of the Edinburgh-based tidal energy company.
The new turbine is the first of three that will be installed in the array as part of the EU-funded EnFAIT project, which is led by Nova and includes a number of industry and academic partners.
The project aims to demonstrate the economic viability of tidal power – and Nova claims that the next generation of direct-drive turbine, which have no gearbox, cuts the cost of tidal energy by a third, making it cost competitive with fossil fuels.
Nova Innovation’s offshore manager Tom Wills said: “As a Shetlander it’s really satisfying to see our islands leading the way in commercialising tidal energy, which is a global market.
“Deploying this new direct drive turbine was a huge team effort, made possible by our excellent local contractors and suppliers.
“Three years of research, design, fabrication and testing culminated in us lowering the turbine onto its foundation in a thirty-minute window between the flood and ebb tides.
“It’s an exciting project to be involved in and we’re delighted to be supplying Shetland with more electricity from Bluemull Sound.”
The €20.2 million EnFait project is set to run through to 2022.
By the end of the scheme there should be six turbines operating in Bluemull Sound.
The offshore array in Shetland was hailed as the first of its kind in the world. It has generated electricity for more than four years.
Reflecting, meanwhile, on the future for Nova Innovation after its first decade in business, chief executive officer Simon Forrest said the team are “very excited” for what lies ahead.
“The global potential for this untapped, abundant and valuable source of renewable energy is enormous,” he said.
“We are driving down costs and branching into new markets to make tidal energy mainstream.
“By 2030, tidal energy will be cheaper than nuclear power and fossil fuels, providing cleaner and sustainable energy for coastal communities around the world.”
Become a supporter of Shetland News
Shetland News is asking its many readers to consider start paying for their dose of the latest local news delivered straight to their PC, tablet or mobile phone.
Journalism comes at a price and because that price is not being paid in today’s rapidly changing media world, most publishers - national and local - struggle financially despite very healthy audience figures.
Most online publishers have started charging for access to their websites, others have chosen a different route. Shetland News currently has over 430 supporters who are all making small voluntary financial contributions. All funds go towards covering our cost and improving the service further.
Your contribution will ensure Shetland News can: -
- Bring you the headlines as they happen;
- Stay editorially independent;
- Give a voice to the community;
- Grow site traffic further;
- Research and publish more in-depth news, including more Shetland Lives features.
If you appreciate what we do and feel strongly about impartial local journalism, then please become a supporter of Shetland News by either making a single payment or monthly subscription.
Support us from as little as £3 per month – it only takes a minute to sign up. Thank you.Support Shetland News