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Nova expands pioneering underwater tidal array in Shetland

Professional Engineering

A turbine is added to Nova Innovation's Shetland Tidal Array (Credit: Nova Innovation)
A turbine is added to Nova Innovation's Shetland Tidal Array (Credit: Nova Innovation)

Tidal energy company Nova Innovation has expanded a pioneering underwater array.

The Shetland Tidal Array now has the largest number of underwater tidal turbines anywhere in the world, the Edinburgh firm claimed, following the addition of the fifth and sixth turbines.  

Three Nova M-100 100kW turbines were initially installed in 2016, and have been powering homes and businesses in Shetland since. A fourth was added in 2020.

The two new turbines are connected to a subsea hub that sends power to shore via 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,” a Nova announcement said.

“In further proof of the commercial readiness of Nova’s technology, 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.”

Nova CEO Simon Forrest said: “The doubling of the Shetland Tidal Array is further evidence of the scalability and commercial readiness of tidal energy. 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.” 

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