Turbine array announced for Bluemull

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Two major companies have collaborated to build five 100kW tidal turbines in Bluemull Sound.

The partnership to develop the so-called Shetland Tidal Array between Yell and Unst is being forged between Edinburgh-based Nova Innovation and Belgian energy company ELSA.

Much is being made of the project’s green credentials, with the turbines said to be capable of powering the equivalent of 300 homes.

The £3.75M investment package, supported by Scottish Enterprise, promises to deliver the pioneering initiative and accelerate the growth of new projects across Europe.

It comes just weeks after the deployment of the world’s first community-owned tidal turbine in the isles, thanks to a joint project between Nova and the North Yell Development Council.

The array should be developed in two phases with commissioning of the first three devices by the end of 2015.

Energy Minister Fergus Ewing welcomed plans for the 0.5MW Shetland Tidal Array.

“ELSA’s decision to invest in Scotland is a testament to the confidence felt by international investors to help develop the huge wave and tidal energy resources from the waters around the Scottish coast. The Scottish government and its agencies will do everything we can to ensure Scotland benefits from the significant economic opportunities the renewables industry presents.”

Simon Forrest, Managing director of Nova Innovation, said: “This partnership agreement will accelerate Nova Innovation’s technology development; help secure the company’s Scottish manufacturing base and expand the integrated supply chain here in Shetland and Scotland. The pan-European vision of the partnership will open up export markets and deliver real growth for the marine energy sector.”

Managing director of ELSA (IDETA), Olivier Bontems said: “The partnership between ELSA (IDETA) and Nova Innovation contains all the fundamental elements of a successful partnership: dedicated partners; commitment to the development of renewable energy; strong innovation in green tech; and co-operation across European regions. We are very proud to be part of this project and to contribute to the development of green electricity in Shetland and Scotland.”

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