A Scottish renewable energy company has claimed a world first by deploying a fully-operational, grid-connected tidal array off Shetland.
Nova Innovation say their success could herald a new era for tidal energy as a long-term source of predictable renewable power.
The Edinburgh-based company this month deployed the second in a series of three 100 kW turbines, creating the first offshore tidal array to deliver electricity to the grid.
Nova partnered with Belgian renewable energy leader ELSA to develop the Shetland Tidal Array in the Bluemull Sound and installed the first of the Nova M-100 turbines in March. The company says it has since been generating to full power across all tidal conditions.
Simon Forrest, Nova Innovation’s managing director, said: “We are absolutely delighted to be the first company in the world to deploy a fully operational tidal array.”
“Deploying the 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.”
Jenny Hogan, Director of Policy at Scottish Renewables, said Nova’s announcement demonstrated Scotland’s “well-deserved lead” in capturing power from the tides and waves.
She added: “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.
“With companies like Nova and others all working on developing this cutting-edge technology, the sector holds huge promise for the future.”
The UK Carbon Trust estimates a global tidal energy market of £126 billion could be developed by 2050.
Founded in 2010, Nova designs, builds, installs and operates tidal energy projects. Operating from sites in Edinburgh and Shetland, the company installed the world’s first community-owned tidal energy device in 2014.
Former Scottish and Southern Energy chief executive Ian Marchant joined Nova as chairman in 2013.