Tidal energy firm’s ‘array’ first in world to grid

Edinburgh-based Nova Innovation said its offshore tidal turbine “array” system in Shetland has become the first in the world to deliver electricity to the grid.

The tidal energy company installed its first turbine in the Bluemull Sound in Shetland in March and a second turbine was installed in August.

“Nova Innovation … has deployed the world’s first fully-operational, commercial, grid-connected offshore tidal array in Shetland,” said the firm.

“The second in a series of three 100 kW turbines was deployed alongside the first turbine in August 2016, making this the first offshore tidal array in the world to deliver electricity to the grid.

“Nova’s success heralds a new era for tidal energy as a long-term source of predictable renewable power — unlike other forms of renewable energy.”

The UK Carbon Trust estimates a global tidal energy market of £126 billion could be developed by 2050.

The Shetland Tidal Array is a joint enterprise between Nova Innovation and renewable energy firm ELSA of Belgium.

“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,” said WWF Scotland director Lang Banks.

“How big a role tidal power will play in our future energy depends on the ambitions of our politicians today.”

Jenny Hogan, director of policy at Scottish Renewables, said: “Scotland is already at the forefront of capturing power from the tides and waves, and Nova’s latest news demonstrates that lead is well-deserved.

“The country is already home to some of the most advanced marine energy technologies anywhere, as well as the European Marine Energy Centre — arguably the most advanced marine energy proving site in the world.”