World first as tidal turbine system supplies national grid with electricity

A Scottish energy firm's tidal turbine system has become the first in the world to deliver electricity to the National Grid.

A tidal turbine is pulled out to location Picture: Scottish Renewables

Nova Innovation said its Shetland Isles project represents major progress in using tidal energy as a long-term source of predictable renewable power.

The company installed its first turbine in the Bluemull Sound in March, with the device generating to full power across all tidal conditions.

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A second turbine was installed in August to work alongside the first. As the firm’s goal is to have a large number of turbines connected in an “array”, the use of a second one is a major milestone.

Simon Forrest, managing director of Nova Innovation said: “We are absolutely delighted to be the first company in the world to deploy a fully operational tidal array.”

He added: “Deploying the second turbine truly sets us apart and showcases our technology.”

Jenny Hogan, director of policy at Scottish Renewables, said: “Scotland is already at the forefront of capturing power from the tides and waves, and Nova’s latest news demonstrates that lead is well-deserved.

“The country is already home to some of the most advanced marine energy technologies anywhere, as well as the European Marine Energy Centre – arguably the most advanced marine energy proving site in the world.

“With companies like Nova and others all working on developing this cutting-edge technology, the sector holds huge promise for the future.”

World Wildlife Fund Scotland director Lang Banks said: “News that power has been exported to grid for the first time by a pair of tidal devices marks yet another major milestone on Scotland’s journey to becoming a fully renewable nation. With some of the most powerful tides in Europe, Scotland is well placed to lead in developing this promising technology.

“The Scottish Government’s forthcoming energy strategy provides the perfect opportunity to set out a bold vision for how we could become Europe’s fully renewable electricity nation by 2030, ensuring that we secure the maximum economic and social benefits.”