Nova, ELSA tidal unit begins generation at Shetland array

Tidal energy partners Nova Innovation and Belgian energy company ELSA have announced that the first power generated by their Nova M100 turbine is now being delivered to the Shetland grid.

The partners were awarded development rights to the plot by the Crown Estate in December 2011 with the goal of developing a 500 kW tidal array. Phase 1, in development now, will see the installation of three 100 kW Nova M100 turbines, with subsequent units to be added later.

“I would like to congratulate Nova Innovation for installing the first Nova M100 tidal turbine and producing grid-connected power,” Scottish Minister for Energy, Enterprise and Tourism Fergus Ewing said.

Development of the M100 unit was funded in large part by a US$3.14 million award from the Scottish government’s enterprise agency, Scottish Enterprise, announced in June 2014 and the Renewable Energy Investment Fund.

Nova Innovation said assistance from Scottish Enterprise has helped cultivate a supply chain comprised of 80% Scottish companies, with more than a quarter in Shetland alone.

“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,” ELSA managing director Olivier Bontems said. “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.”

Tidal energy has the potential to provide for up to 8% of all European demand, according to Nova Innovation managing director Simon Forrest.

“This milestone represents a huge achievement, and the culmination of a tremendous amount of work from our team in Scotland and Belgium,” Forrest said.

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Michael Harris formerly was Editor for

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