A SCOTTISH tidal energy developer has exported the first power from the Shetland Tidal Array project to the island grid.
Edinburgh-based Nova Innovation has deployed the first of three 100kW M100 turbines from the phase one development of its tidal power project in the Bluemull sound off Shetland.
The Shetland Tidal Array is a £3.75 million joint enterprise project between Nova Innovation and Belgian renewables firm Elsa.
Scottish Enterprise has backed the scheme with £1.9 million in loans and grant funding.
Nova Innovation has delivered a project with over 80% Scottish supply chain content, and over 25% of the spend in Shetland alone.
Simon Forrest, Managing Director of Nova Innovation, said: “This milestone represents a huge achievement, and the culmination of a tremendous amount of work from our team in Scotland and Belgium.
“I would especially like to thank Scottish Enterprise and ELSA for their support and advice which has enabled us to build such a strong, pan-European project rooted in Scotland.
“Tidal energy has the potential to provide nearly 8% of European electricity demand. This milestone is an important step towards achieving this goal.”
Energy Minister Fergus Ewing today welcomed the announcement, saying: “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).”
Olivier Bontems, Managing Director of ELSA, said “The successful deployment of the first turbine in the Shetland Tidal Array has been a great experience and cements the relationship between the Nova team in Scotland and our people in Belgium.
“It was a moment of pride to see the Belgian flag under the sea on an operational tidal turbine.
“Our involvement in the project is driven by two key factors: confidence in the Scottish tidal industry and the generation of clean energy to enable economic growth.
“It is important for the future of Europe to develop strong partnerships able to successfully generate green power, using the skills and resources that exist across Europe.”
Lindsay Roberts, Senior Policy Manager at Scottish Renewables, said: “Nova Innovation’s success in Shetland shows not only that Scotland’s marine energy industry is one of the most technologically advanced in the world, but that the resource available off our shores is deserving of the tireless research which has been carried out over many decades to capture the power of the sea. “The delivery of the first power from any energy project is a huge moment for all those involved, and Nova Innovation are to be applauded for their commitment to this project, and also for making sure so much of its content has come from local sources.”
WWF Scotland director Lang Banks said: “It’s great to see power exported to the grid from this tidal power project. With some of the most powerful tides in Europe, Scotland is well placed to lead in developing this promising technology, which will help to cut climate emissions and create skilled, green jobs.
“Our islands have an abundance of renewable resources which could bring multiple economic and social benefits to remote and rural communities..
“However, if we are to secure these benefits we need each of the political parties to prioritise renewables and commit to ensuring Scotland becomes the EU’s first fully renewable electricity nation by 2030.”