Turbines installed off the coast of Shetland could herald a “new era” in tidal energy, according to the company running the project. Tidal energy specialist Nova Innovation said they were the first offshore tidal turbines in the world to deliver electricity to the grid. Two 100kW turbines have been installed so far in the Shetland Tidal Array at Bluemull Sound. The blades for the turbines were made by Shetland Composites. Edinburgh-based Nova Innovation said tidal energy was a “long-term source” of predictable renewable power, with the turbines generating to full power across all tidal conditions.
BBC 29th Aug 2016 read more »
A power company in Shetland has claimed a breakthrough in the race to develop viable offshore tidal stations after successfully feeding electricity to local homes. Nova Innovation said it had deployed the world’s first fully operational array of tidal power turbines in the Bluemull Sound between the islands of Unst and Yell in the north of Shetland, where the North Sea meets the Atlantic. It switched on the second of five 100kW turbines due to be installed in the sound this month, sending electricity on a commercial basis into Shetland’s local grid. Existing tidal schemes use single power plants or installations rather than a chain of separate turbines. A French company, Open Hydro, says it too is very close to linking two tidal machines, off Brittany, to build a more powerful 1MW array. After a series of commercial failures in Scotland’s nascent marine power industry, including the collapse of two wave power firms, Pelarmis and Aquamarine, Nova Innovation’s announcement was applauded by environmental groups.
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There is a long way to go, but first delivery of tidal energy to the National Grid shows the industry’s promising future. It was former First Minister Alex Salmond who said that Scotland’s mix of wind and marine power could create a “Saudi Arabia of renewables” in the Pentland Firth. While that was dismissed in some quarters as nothing more than a soundbite, it nevertheless showed a laudable ambition for what the sector could achieve. But with wind farms enjoying a considerable amount of focus – not to mention government subsidies – tidal energy has gone relatively unnoticed. That could be about to change, however, with the news that a Scottish firm has become the first in the world to deliver electricity to the National Grid using a tidal turbine system. Nova Innovation installed its first turbine at its Shetland Islands project in March, before installing its second earlier this month. The firm said its project in the Bluemull Sound represented major progress in using tidal energy as a long-term source of predictable renewable power. Scotland has some of the most powerful tides in Europe, which must now be exploited to become a key component of our energy mix. Progress is likely to be slow – the dream of Scotland becoming a fully renewable nation may yet be some way off – but it is important that Scotland stays at the forefront of what will be the next sigificant front in the development of renewable energy. And it will also take major investment, which must be given incentives b y the Scottish Government. Once that is in place, there is no reason why Scotland cannot one day be to tidal energy what Saudi Arabia is to oil.
Scotsman 30th Aug 2016 read more »
In a second world-first for Scottish energy in as many days, the world’s most powerful tidal turbine, is due to begin testing in Orkney. At 63m in length, the Scotrenewables Tidal Power SR2000 turbine is longer than the Scott Monument in Edinburgh is tall and is capable of generating 2MW of power – enough to meet the needs of approximately 2,000 homes over the course of a year. It has been hailed as a potential “game changer” by Scottish Energy Minister Paul Wheelhouse.
Scottish Energy News 30th Aug 2016 read more »