Hydropower milestone as Shetland tidal array delivers first power to the grid

Tidal Array

The first power has been exported to the grid from the Shetland Tidal Array project, developed by Nova Innovation, it was announced on 9 March.
Lindsay Roberts, Senior Policy Manager at Scottish Renewables, said: “Nova Innovation’s success in Shetland shows not only that Scotland’s marine energy industry is one of the most technologically advanced in the world, but that the resource available off our shores is deserving of the tireless research which has been carried out over many decades to capture the power of the sea.
“The delivery of the first power from any energy project is a huge moment for all those involved, and Nova Innovation are to be applauded for their commitment to this project, and also for making sure so much of its content has come from local sources.”

How it was delivered
The Shetland Tidal Array is a joint enterprise between Nova Innovation (Scotland) and ELSA (Belgium). Phase 1 of the array consists of three 100 kW Nova M100 turbines, with more turbines planned in the following phases. With the help of Scottish Enterprise, Nova Innovation has delivered a project with over 80% Scottish supply chain content, and over 25% of the spend in Shetland alone.
Energy Minister Fergus Ewing welcomed the announcement, saying “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, Scottish Enterprise and the Renewable Energy Investment Fund (REIF).”

Industry confidence and the energy mix
Olivier Bontems, Managing Director of ELSA, said “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.”
Simon Forrest, Managing Director of 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. I would especially like to thank Scottish Enterprise and ELSA for their support and advice which has enabled us to build such a strong, pan-European project rooted in Scotland.
“Tidal energy has the potential to provide nearly 8% of European electricity demand. This milestone is an important step towards achieving this goal.”