Power surge

Tidal energy firm Nova hits turbines record

Simon Forrest
Simon Forrest: proven technology

Tidal energy company Nova Innovation now has the largest number of turbines anywhere in the world after doubling the size of its Shetland-based array.

In 2016 the array of three underwater tidal turbines was the first of its kind and has been powering homes and businesses in Shetland ever since. A fourth turbine (Eunice) was added in 2020 and it has now added two more.

These are connected via a pioneering subsea ‘hub’, sending power to shore by a single export cable. This innovation delivers significant savings on subsea cables, further reducing the cost of tidal power, as Nova develops larger sites with more turbines.

The Shetland tidal array’s operation has also recently achieved the longest period of continuous monthly tidal stream power generation anywhere in the world.

Leith-based Nova stated that Shetland has benefitted directly from the array, with job creation, utilisation of local companies and, more recently, the launch of the world’s first electric vehicle charge point powered purely by the tide.

Energy Secretary Michael Matheson said: “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.”

Nova chief executive Simon Forest said: “We have been powering homes and businesses in Shetland since 2016 so our technology is proven in Shetland, ready for the world.”

The company has project sites in Scotland, Wales, France, Canada and Indonesia.

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