Edinburgh-based tidal energy company Nova Innovation has achieved another world-first by doubling the size of its Shetland Tidal Array. In 2016, the array of three underwater tidal turbines was the first of its kind and has been powering homes and businesses in Shetland ever since.
A fourth turbine (Eunice) was added in 2020. Now, with the installation of the 5th and 6th turbines, it becomes the array with the largest number of turbines anywhere in the world, according to the company.
Turbines 5 and 6, Grace and Hali Hope, are connected via a pioneering subsea ‘hub’, sending power to shore by a single export cable. This innovation delivers significant savings on subsea cables, further reducing the cost of tidal power, essential as the industry scales-up and Nova develops larger sites with more turbines.
The Shetland Tidal Array’s years of operation has recently achieved the longest period of continuous monthly tidal stream power generation anywhere in the world. Recently, what is reported to be the world’s first EV charge point powered purely by the tide was launched.
“The doubling of the Shetland Tidal Array is further evidence of the scalability and commercial readiness of tidal energy," said Simon Forest, CEO of Nova Innovation. "We have been powering homes and businesses in Shetland since 2016 so our technology is proven in Shetland, ready for the world. The EnFAIT project, funded by EU Horizon 2020, has been instrumental in driving down the cost of tidal energy, demonstrating extensive reliability and proving the bankability of the tidal sector.”