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Nova Innovation expands its tidal array

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Nova Innovation has celebrated its 10th birthday with the expansion of its tidal array.

Nova Innovation installed its commercial direct-drive tidal turbine ‘Eunice’. The new turbine is already powering homes across Shetland.

Nova has informed that the next generation of direct-drive turbine slashes the cost of tidal energy by a third – making 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.

The EnFAIT project, now in its third year, has been driving the commercialization 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.

“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.”

Simon Forrest, Nova’s CEO.

“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.”

Nova’s tidal array in Shetland is part of EnFAIT (Enabling Future Arrays in Tidal) – 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.

“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 – putting tidal power firmly at the forefront of our energy transition.”

Matthijs Soede, European Commission.
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