The tidal energy company Nova Innovation has received £2 million ($2.78 million) funding from the Scottish Government to advance tidal turbine manufacturing to a global level.
The funding will be used to support Nova’s VOLT (VOlume Manufacturing and Logistics for Tidal Energy) project that will develop the first European assembly line to mass manufacture tidal turbines and trial innovative techniques and tools to ship, deploy and monitor turbines around the world – meeting the challenge of the climate emergency.
The project will also study how to improve turbine performance, logistics for mass manufacture and develop new techniques to ensure cost-effective delivery of tidal turbines. Additionally, VOLT will deliver an adaptable Remote Observation Platform (ROP) for rapid environmental monitoring of tidal energy sites.
The scale of technologies and systems being deployed can be significant. Tidal energy costs are falling rapidly as the sector scales up. It offers a competitive alternative to diesel generation in many markets and will be cheaper than nuclear by 2030.
Nova Innovation’s turbines, for instance, have been successfully powering the Shetland grid for over five years and will soon be deployed in North America and mainland Europe. When the tip of their blades is vertical, the height from their base reaches just under 14 meters. In delivering VOLT, Nova will demonstrate what is required to efficiently scale up the production of tidal energy devices across the world.
The news of the Scottish tidal energy scale-up comes just over a week after another company, Orbital Marine Power, said its O2 turbine had started grid-connected power generation at the European Marine Energy Centre in Orkney, another archipelago north of the Scottish mainland. The 2MW O2 floating turbine has been dubbed “the world’s most powerful tidal turbine” weighs 680 tons and is 74 meters long.
“With our abundant natural resources and expertise, Scotland is ideally placed to harness the enormous global market for marine energy whilst helping deliver a net-zero economy both here and across the world. That’s why we are determined to help the sector grow and develop,” said Michael Matheson, Cabinet Secretary for Net Zero in the Scottish Government. “The VOLT project marks an important milestone in commercializing the sector, and I look forward to Nova Innovation capitalizing on this funding to drive forward what is an incredibly exciting opportunity to advance tidal energy’s potential.“
The VOLT project will run from 2021 to 2023.