Power plan

Nova and RSK launch solar power joint venture

Simon Forrest
Simon Forrest: massive step forward (pic: Terry Murden / DB Media Services)

Scottish marine energy company Nova Innovation has joined forces with RSK, a pioneer in the delivery of sustainable solutions, to design, build and install floating solar power stations around the world.

They have launched a joint venture, AquaGen365, building on the launch of Nova’s first floating solar project in the Port of Leith in Edinburgh, which is powering Forth Ports’ headquarters with clean, renewable energy.

The marine solar demonstrator passed its first big test, generating electricity through the torrential rain and 70mph winds of Storm Babet in October.

It has continued to generate power through a further 11 named storms through the winter demonstrating the robustness of Nova’s design and technology to operate in challenging conditions.

The Port of Leith project is an example of the near-shore sea use of floating solar. It can also be installed in more sheltered inland waters and reservoirs, as well as the more challenging offshore locations out at sea, co-locating with offshore wind, without taking up valuable land space.

AquaGen365 plans to roll out floating solar at scale, making use of the world’s largest resource – water – which covers two-thirds of the planet. It follows a recent study which estimated that floating solar has the potential to produce 9,343 terawatt-hours (TWh)*; enough energy to meet Europe’s electricity needs three times over. 

The company combines RSK’s global reach across more than 200 environmental, engineering and technical service companies in 40 countries, with Nova Innovation’s world-leading expertise in marine energy.

Collectively, AquaGen365 has more than 20 years’ experience in the development of renewable energy through the deployment of tidal stream, onshore wind, ground mounted solar PV, and hydro power technologies.​

Solar power project in Leith (pic: contributed)

RSK director David Taylor said: “Floating solar provides clean, predictable, low-cost energy, using reliable and bankable technology that offers an alternative solution to ground-mounted and rooftop solar. It makes a compelling argument for cost competitive and decarbonised energy generation where land use is not a viable option.

He added: “Floating solar will benefit many sectors, in particular, enabling sustainable irrigation in the agricultural sector, helping to achieve carbon net zero targets within the water industry, the provision of renewable energy to power industrial sites and complexes, and driving the push for ’greener’ ports and harbours.”

Nova Innovation CEO Simon Forrest said: “Floating solar presents a massive step forward in the quest for clean renewable energy.  Its main advantage is that it can be installed quickly at scale – particularly in areas where land is scarce or expensive.

“With the commitment made at COP28 to triple renewable energy capacity globally by 2030, floating solar is a low-cost, accessible solution that can have a real impact on reducing climate change. The complementary skills of RSK and Nova combine perfectly to help achieve these global targets.”

Nova’s floating solar technology is proven to operate in all conditions, including weathering the storms and harsh conditions of the Scottish winter. With this technology, AquaGen365 is poised to transform the floating solar landscape, setting new standards for innovation and sustainability.

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