Campaigners hail first grid-connected offshore tidal power in Scotland

Tidal energy company celebrates having first commercial model connected to the grid

NOVA INNOVATION, Edinburgh-based tidal power specialists and engineers, have deployed the world’s first fully-operational, commercially based and grid-connected offshore tidal array in Shetland.

Two out of a series of three 100 kW turbines have been deployed this month, making the group the first offshore tidal array in the world to deliver electricity to a national grid.

The environmental campaign group World Wildlife Fund Scotland (WWF) said the move could see Scotland become one of Europe's first fully renewable nations. 

The UK Carbon Trust has estimated that the global tidal energy market could be worth £126bn by 2050.

Simon Forrest, managing director of Nova Innovation (NI), said: "We are absolutely delighted to be the first company in the world to deploy a fully operational tidal array."

He added: "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."

The Scottish tidal energy specialist installed its first M-100 turbine in the Bluemull Sound, Shetland in March of this year with the ability to generate full under all tidal conditions.

As part of the Shetland tidal array project, Nova collaborated with the Belgian renewable energy company Elsa, whose partnership was crucial in getting European investors to put £1.85m towards their joint working. 

Founded in 2010, Nova operates from two sites in Edinburgh and Shetland and had previous success in installing the world’s first community-owned tidal energy device in 2014.

The UK Carbon Trust has estimated that the global tidal energy market, if developed, could be worth £126bn by 2050.

"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." Lang Banks

Responding to the news today, WWF Scotland director Lang Banks, said: "News that power has been exported to grid for the first time by a pair of tidal devices marks yet 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.
 
"How big a role tidal power will play in our future energy depends on the ambitions of our politicians today. The Scottish Government’s forthcoming energy strategy provides the perfect opportunity to set out a bold vision for how we could become Europe’s fully renewable electricity nation by 2030, ensuring that we secure the maximum economic and social benefits that will arise from a shift toward a zero-carbon economy."

Picture courtesy of NI

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