Nova Innovation is celebrating its 10th birthday with the successful expansion of the world’s first tidal array. The company has confirmed a step-change cost reduction in tidal energy as their new turbine begins powering homes in Scotland’s most northerly islands, the Shetlands.
Nova Innovation has confirmed that it has successfully installed its commercial direct-drive tidal turbine ‘Eunice’, and that it is already powering homes across Shetland. Nova has announced that this new generation of direct-drive turbine has cut the cost of tidal energy by a third – stating that this makes tidal energy cost competitive with fossil fuels. Eunice is the first of three turbines set to double the size of the Shetland Tidal Array as part of the EnFAIT project.
This project, now in its third year, has been driving the commercialisation of the tidal energy sector by improving reliability, reducing costs, and boosting the sector’s ‘bankability’. The pan-European consortium involved in the project has been instrumental in driving down costs.
Simon Forrest, Nova’s CEO said “We set up Nova Innovation in 2010 to capture clean energy from the tides to help combat climate change. Ten years later, we’ve achieved what many thought impossible. We are generating electricity from the immense power of our seas. Our proven technology is displacing fossil fuels and changing the way we power our lives. We are very excited about the future. The global potential for this untapped, abundant and valuable source of renewable energy is enormous. We are driving down costs and branching into new markets to make tidal energy mainstream. By 2030, tidal energy will be cheaper than nuclear power and fossil fuels, providing cleaner and sustainable energy for coastal communities around the world.”
EnFAIT (Enabling Future Arrays in Tidal) is a flagship project funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme. The first half of the 5-year project has been focused on learning from the three existing turbines in the Shetland Tidal Array and proving the reliability of the technology. The next stage of the project is focused on installing the direct drive turbines to demonstrate the rapidly falling cost of tidal energy.
Matthijs Soede, European Commission said: “By the project’s finish in 2022, Nova Innovation and its partners will have demonstrated a clear cost reduction pathway for tidal energy. The project will deliver a bank of evidence for its environmental and socio-economic benefits. We should be able to apply these learnings and technologies to settings across the world.”