The first power has been exported into the national grid from the new Shetland tidal array by a Nova M100 turbine following a successful winter of operations and testing.
The Shetland Tidal Array is a joint enterprise between Edinburgh-based Nova Innovation (Scotland) and ELSA (Belgium).
Phase 1 of the array consists of three 100 kW Nova M100 turbines, with more turbines planned in following phases. Nova Innovation has delivered a project with over 80% Scottish supply chain content, and over 25% of the spend in Shetland alone.
Video of the turbine deployment can be seen below.
Simon Forrest, Managing Director, Nova Innovation, said: “This milestone represents a huge achievement, and the culmination of a tremendous amount of work from our team in Scotland and Belgium.
“Tidal energy has the potential to provide nearly 8% of European electricity demand. This milestone is an important step towards achieving this goal.
Olivier Bontems, Managing Director of ELSA, commented: “The successful deployment of the first turbine in the Shetland tidal array has been a great experience and cements the relationship between the Nova team in Scotland and our people in Belgium. It was a moment of pride to see the Belgian flag under the sea on an operational tidal turbine.
“Our involvement in the project is driven by two key factors: confidence in the Scottish tidal industry and the generation of clean energy to enable economic growth. It is important for the future of Europe to develop strong partnerships able to successfully generate green power, using the skills and resources that exist across Europe.”
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Scottish Energy and Enterprise Minister Fergus Ewing welcomed the development. He said: “I would like to congratulate Nova Innovation for installing the first Nova M100 tidal turbine successfully and producing grid connected power.
This is a result of a lot of hard work and support from all involved including the Scottish Government’s enterprise agency and the Renewable Energy Investment Fund.”
Meanwhile, Nova Innovation has joined Ocean Energy Europe – the Brussels-based industry group for ocean renewable energy – as its newest member.
Remi Gruet, Chief Executive, Ocean Energy Europe, said: “Tidal power is having a real ‘break-out’ year in 2016 with flagship deployments due in Scotland and France. We are witnessing the birth of an industry.
“The first export of power from the Shetland Tidal Array project is a major success for Nova and its European partners, and represents another win for Europe’s ocean energy sector.”