Nova Innovation, ELSA to Build Shetland Tidal Array

Following the successful deployment of the world’s first community owned tidal turbine in Shetland, Nova Innovation (Scotland) and ELSA (Belgium) have secured funding to construct the Shetland Tidal Array, potentially the world’s first in-sea tidal array.

The £3.75M investment package supported by Scottish Enterprise will deliver this pioneering project and accelerate the growth of new projects across Europe. The partnership draws together pan-European partners and brings significant inward investment to Scotland.

The array project will see further development of the existing Bluemull Sound site in Shetland with the deployment of a further five 100kW devices. The array will be developed in two phases with commissioning of the first three devices by the end of 2015.

Energy Minister Fergus Ewing today welcomed plans for the 0.5MW Shetland Tidal Array, saying: “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.”

Olivier Bontems, Managing Director of ELSA (IDETA), 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 GreenTech; 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.”

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.”

Seonaid Vass, director of renewables & low carbon technologies at Scottish Enterprise, said: “Scotland is leading the world when it comes to innovation in wave & tidal energies – and Nova’s continued success is a real testament to the strengths in the sector. Seeing this tidal technology developed into in-sea tidal arrays is a significant step forward for the industry, and we will be working closely with Nova to support its work in this and other potential projects.”

ELSA and Nova Innovation have formed Shetland Green Electricity Ltd to develop the Shetland Tidal Array. The 0.5MW array will consist of five 100kW devices and will be deployed in the Bluemull Sound in 2015/16. The array forms the engineering extension of the existing Nova 30 project which was successfully deployed at the same site early in 2014. In addition, the partners will begin work on potential tidal projects across Europe.

ELSA (IDETA) and Nova Innovation bring together a complementary skill set, matching ethos and shared goals to deliver tidal energy solutions across Europe. The partnership forms a key inward investment to Scotland, creating jobs, accelerating growth and opening up export markets, developing tidal arrays across a more interconnected and greener Europe.

Press Release, June 16, 2014; Image: Nova Innovation

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