Edinburgh tidal power firm Nova Innovation heads EU project

Tidal energy outfit Nova Innovation is to take part in a flagship €20 million (£17.6m) European project.

Nova Innovation said the project marked a 'huge vote of confidence' in the Edinburgh firm. Picture: Contributed

The firm will head a consortium of nine top industrial, academic and research organisations from across Europe.

The Enabling Future Arrays in Tidal (EnFAIT) project, which begins this month and will run until June 2022, builds on Nova’s existing operational tidal power station in Bluemull Sound, off the Shetland Isles.

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The project has been won as a competitive contract awarded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme to develop marine energy sources and demonstrate technologies in European waters. It aims to increase the commercial viability of tidal power.

Simon Forrest, chief executive of the Edinburgh firm, said: “Winning the EnFAIT project in this very competitive call represents a huge vote of confidence in the ability of Nova Innovation and its partners to deliver.

“The project will make a major contribution to reducing the lifetime costs of tidal energy and will boost investor confidence by providing hard-edged analytics of commercial and operational performance to inform investment decisions.”

Founded in 2010, Nova employs more than 30 staff. In 2013, former SSE boss Ian Marchant joined the company as chairman.

Sarah Beattie-Smith, climate and energy policy officer at WWF Scotland, said: “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 green jobs right across the country.”