Shetland Composites Win New Tidal Turbine Contract

A Shetland company has won a contract to supply blades for a bank of tidal turbines off the Shetland coast.

Shetland Composites has secured the six-month contract from Edinburgh-based Nova Innovations, Nova is developing 5 100kw tidal turbines which will be known as the Shetland Tidal Array.

The turbines, which sit more than 100ft below the waves, will be developed in two phases with commissioning of the first three devices by the end of 2015. The device has a rotating turbine, which is spun by the power of the tide, this in turn drives a generator that produces electricity, which is then transmitted to the shore via a subsea cable.

Shetland Composites has already been awarded nearly £70,000 from Highlands and Islands Enterprise towards the extension to its workshop premises in Lerwick. The Scottish Enterprise and the Renewable Energy Investment Fund (REIF) are supporting Nova Innovation’s project with £1.9m in grant and loan funding.

Fred Gibson, from Shetland Composites, said:

This is a big step for the company. Up until now most of our work in the marine renewable sector has been in the development of prototype devices. Now finally these projects are scaling up and becoming commercially viable.

Its hoped that once up and running these tidal turbines will provide power to around 300 homes on the island.