Scottish cleantech company, Nova Innovation, announces the integration of its tidal energy array with Tesla battery storage. The Tesla Powerpack was successfully integrated with Nova’s existing tidal array, delivering the world’s first grid-connected ‘baseload’ tidal power station.
Since the start of October, the grid has been supplied by Nova’s Tidal Energy Storage System (TESS) demonstrator, which integrates Nova Innovation’s Shetland Tidal Array with Tesla’s battery technology to provide clean power ‘on demand’.
Simon Forrest, CEO at Nova Innovation, said: “By storing the clean energy generated by the natural ebb and flow of the tide, we can control the supply of electricity to the grid to match demand. This creates a consistent source of completely predictable power from a clean, sustainable resource.
“Nova’s expertise in smart grid control, renewable generation and energy storage has delivered this game-changing innovation. We now look forward to expanding our services to other markets and renewable projects.”
Linking tidal power with energy storage improves the security of supply, reduces carbon emissions and helps to balance electricity supply and demand. The predictability of the tide and the six-hour generation cycle times make it the perfect partner for energy storage.
The project has secured funding from the Scottish Government’s Low Carbon Infrastructure Transition Programme. The programme, supported by the European Regional Development Fund, is accelerating the development and delivery of low-carbon infrastructure projects across Scotland.
Today, Scotland’s energy minister, Paul Wheelhouse, will be visiting Nova Innovations’ Edinburgh-based workshop to see where the turbines were designed and manufactured. He will view live footage of the turbines generating energy from a natural, renewable source as well as monitor the levels of energy being stored in real-time.
Mr Wheelhouse said: “Nova Innovation are a dynamic Scottish company with exciting technology and, of course, they can and should be rightly proud of having developed the world’s first tidal array at Bluemull Sound, Shetland.
“Now, with the support of £272,600 of Scottish Government funding, this already successful project will also allow for the deployment of additional tidal devices, expanding the generating capacity of the Nova Innovation Shetland Tidal Array.
“This project will utilise both renewable tidal technology and battery storage from one of the world’s pioneers of battery storage, Tesla, to overcome the challenges of current grid constraints and to enable the improved, uninterrupted, provision of low carbon energy, not only in Shetland, but in other small island communities across Scotland. Crucially, however, by undertaking this work in Scotland, we can also play a key role in helping inform the sustainable decarbonisation of energy for communities across the world.”
The project also has the support of leading environmental charities because of its impact on reducing carbon-intensive energy production.
Sam Gardner, acting director of WWF Scotland, said: “Predictable renewable power and smart storage working in harmony is the holy grail of the transition to a renewable electricity system.
“It’s great that the Scottish Government has backed this project and we hope it inspires politicians and others with the confidence to provide further support for ground-breaking technologies to cut climate pollution.”
Nuclear and coal energy have long been promoted because of their ability to deliver baseload generation – steady, constant power. Nova Innovation’s technology means that, as it is scaled up to hundreds of megawatts in the coming years, baseload tidal power has the ability to displace nuclear and coal generation.
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