Tidal energy leader Nova Innovation has secured an extension of its seabed lease at the Shetland Tidal Array.
Crown Estate Scotland has granted an extension to Nova’s existing seabed lease at Bluemull Sound in Shetland, increasing the capacity of the site lease from 0.5MW to 2MW. The extension will also see the current lease period extend until 2041.
The lease extension builds on the successful operation of Nova’s Bluemull Sound turbines over the last two years. In 2016, the Shetland Tidal Array became the world’s first offshore tidal energy array, delivered with over 80% supply chain content from Scotland.
The extension of the Bluemull Sound Lease provides opportunities for further deployment of turbines as part of a larger array and creates the prospect of a longer-term operation in Shetland. The next phase involves the installation of an additional three turbines by 2020, under the EnFAIT project: a flagship European tidal energy technology initiative led by Nova, in a consortium of nine leading industrial, academic and research organisations from across Europe.
Patrick Ross-Smith, Shetland Manager for Nova Innovation, said:
“We see this as a big vote of confidence from Crown Estate Scotland for tidal energy. The experience and data we have developed from deploying and operating the turbines in the world’s first offshore tidal energy array are helping us to optimise our technology and processes. This lease extension paves the way for expanding the array, using the next generation of Nova turbines: further driving down the costs of this clean and predictable source of renewable energy.”
Mark McKean, Development Manager for Crown Estate Scotland, commented:
“We’ve watched the development of Nova Innovation’s Bluemull Sound site with interest and are really pleased to be able to support further growth of this project with this lease extension. With their ongoing work to further enhance the technology to be utilised at the Shetland site, Nova is demonstrating that tidal energy projects are truly coming of age. During the last 12 months we have witnessed a significant upturn in tidal energy deployments within Scottish waters and Nova’s existing operations at Bluemull Sound have added to that. We look forward to seeing further progress at this site and benefits for the local supply chain in the coming years.”