Worlds First Tidal Power Array Launches in Shetland

Nova Innovations, a power company in Scotland has claimed a breakthrough in the race to create a viable offshore tidal station after successfully powering local homes on the island of Shetland.

The company has announced that it’s deployed the worlds first fully operational tidal power array in the Bluemull Sound in-between the islands of Unst and Yell in the north of Shetland. The Scottish tidal energy specialist installed the first Nova M100 turbine in the Bluemull Sound, Shetland in March 2016. The device has been generating up to full power and across all tidal conditions.

The second in a series of three 100 kW turbines was deployed alongside the first turbine in August 2016, making this the first offshore tidal array in the world to deliver electricity to the grid. Shetland Composites secured the 6 month contract to create the turbine blades which sit more than 100ft below the waves.

The Shetland isles are not connected to the UK grid and get most of their electricity from a diesel power station. Despite having some of the worlds strongest winds, thousands of islanders campaigned against a scheme backed by the local council to build the 370MW wind-farm, involving 103 turbines erected on the main island. The scheme won legal approval in 2015 but is waiting for the UK government to make an announcement of new supply deals.

Nova say the two turbines installed so far were operating at 40% of their capacity, and hope its turbines, cofunded by the Belgian renewables company ELSA will be sold worldwide now they have been proven.