15th November 2018
Established 1872. Online since 1996.

Bluemull tidal power scheme is ‘world first’

The company behind a renewable energy project in Bluemull Sound says it has reached “a world first” tying in tidal power with battery storage.

Nova Innovation’s Bluemull Sound tidal array is hooked up to a Tesla battery system.

Edinburgh-based Nova Innovation announced the integration of its “tidal array” to Tesla battery storage to provide “clean power”, resulting in “the world’s first grid-connected ‘baseload’ tidal power station”.

The system is said to be able to store power and provide it “on demand”.

Nova Innovation chief executive Simon Forrest said: “By storing the clean energy generated by the natural ebb and flow of the tide, we can control the supply of electricity to the grid to match demand. This creates a consistent source of completely predictable power from a clean, sustainable resource.

“Nova’s expertise in smart grid control, renewable generation and energy storage has delivered this game-changing innovation. We now look forward to expanding our services to other markets and renewable projects.”

Nova Innovation said linking tidal power with energy storage improved the security of supply, reduced carbon emissions and helped to balance electricity supply and demand.

The project had funding from the Scottish government’s Low Carbon Infrastructure Transition Programme, for the development of low-carbon infrastructure projects across Scotland.

3 comments

  1. Richard donne

    Swansea should been the first one this goverment are blind to something good for the country but there you are the next com is brexit you watch I have voted for this goverment all my life being selfrmployed I will never vote for them again so come on Labour get in next to.r

    Reply
    • Christopher Johnston

      Richard, the three Bluemull Sound turbines have a maximum combined capacity of 300KW and were installed in 2016-2017. Three more are planned but not installed. Have you wondered why? The answer is high cost, both for the turbines and the battery storage. The resulting electricity generated is very expensive, not at all what is required for baseload generation. I suspect the battery was added just to prove the concept.
      Let’s assume the turbines generate 300KW for four hours a day, giving a baseload capacity of 50KW. Shetland’s minimum demand is 11,000KW and the maximum is 48,000KW, so 50KW from the turbines is of no real use. If all Shetland’s electricity were supplied by such turbines, I suspect the electricity rates would triple.

      Reply
  2. Tim Sims

    Really excellent news – I hope it will be the first of many tidal power schemes in the UK

    Reply

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