The first turbine in Shetland’s tidal array went live this week and is exporting power to the Shetland grid.
The multi-million pound Shetland Tidal Array is a joint enterprise between Nova Innovation, based in Scotland, and Belgian company ELSA. It has three 100 kW turbines in Bluemull Sound.
The first of these is now working, following a successful winter of operations and testing.
Nova Innovation Shetland development office Patrick Ross-Smith said this morning: “This is good news for Shetland. Tidal energy is part of the mix for the first time. Today is flat calm, which shows clearly how the Nova 100 kW turbine is capable of generating electricity today as much as any day. The key point is that it is predictable.” This is in contrast to wind energy, he said.
Nova Innovations managing director Simon Forrest said it was a “huge achievement” to go live. “Tidal energy has the potential to provide nearly eight per cent of European electricity demand. This milestone is an important step towards achieving this goal.”
Energy minister Fergus Ewing welcomed the announcement and 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, Scottish Enterprise and the Renewable Energy Investment Fund (REIF).”