Monday 22 April 2024
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Energy / Nova’s six strong tidal energy array completed

One of the two final turbines is being deployed in Bluemull Sound. Photo: Nova Innovation

TIDAL energy company Nova Innovation is celebrating another world-first by doubling the size of its Shetland tidal array.

It comes after the fifth and sixth turbines were installed in the Bluemull Sound project.

It means the 600kW array is now the largest number of tidal turbines anywhere in the world.

The array started off with three turbines in 2016, with a fourth added in 2020.

Turbines five and six have been called Grace and Hali Hope, with pupils at Cullivoe Primary School naming the latter.

They connected via a pioneering subsea ‘hub’, sending power to shore by a single export cable.

Nova said this delivers “significant savings” on subsea cables, further reducing the cost of tidal power, which is essential as the industry scales-up.

It comes after Nova Innovation revealed plans last year for a much larger tidal array between Yell and the island of Bigga.

The existing tidal array in Bluemull Sound also recently achieved the longest period of continuous monthly tidal stream power generation anywhere in the world.

Shetland has benefitted directly from the array; job creation, utilisation of local companies and, more recently, the launch of the world’s first EV charge point powered purely by the tide.

Scotland’s net zero and energy secretary Michael Matheson said: “Our abundant natural resources, expertise and innovation has made Scotland an early leader in marine energy.

“As one of the pioneers of tidal energy Nova Innovation are demonstrating performance and reliability of the technology, and I welcome the expansion of its Shetland array.

“From creating the world’s first offshore tidal array in 2016, this achievement marks a new milestone for tidal energy across the world as we seek to scale up and accelerate the technology in Scotland and beyond.”

Senior policy officer at the European Commission Matthijs Soede said: ‘We are happy that the EU Horizon 2020 programme could support the development of tidal energy via the ENFAIT project and we hope that the good results of this project will attract further investors.

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“Learnings from the continued operation and maintenance of all turbines, from Ailsa to Hali Hope, are extremely important and are a milestone for the whole ocean energy sector”.

Nova Innovation CEO Simon Forest said: “The doubling of the Shetland Tidal Array is further evidence of the scalability and commercial readiness of tidal energy.

“We have been powering homes and businesses in Shetland since 2016 so our technology is proven in Shetland, ready for the world.”

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