Published: 6 July 2017

Nova Innovation leads flagship €20 million European tidal energy project

Scotland-based tidal energy leader Nova Innovation has won a major new European tidal energy project, heading a consortium of nine leading industrial, academic and research organisations from across Europe.

The Enabling Future Arrays in Tidal (EnFAIT) project builds on Nova’s existing operational tidal power station in Bluemull Sound off the Shetland Islands in Scotland, which was the world’s first grid-connected offshore array of tidal energy turbines.

The project, which begins in July 2017 and will run until June 2022, has been won as a competitive contract awarded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme to develop marine energy sources and demonstrate technologies in European waters. The project is a flagship initiative for the EU and marine energy, and aims to increase the commercial viability of tidal power.

It will extend the Bluemull Sound array to six turbines and demonstrate that high array reliability and availability can be achieved using best practice maintenance regimes. The layout of the turbines will be adjusted to enable array interactions and optimisation to be studied for the very first time at an operational tidal energy site.

Total project costs are expected to be €20.2 million, to which the EU Horizon 2020 Programme will be contributing €14.9 million.

Speaking of the EnFAIT project, Simon Forrest, Chief Executive Officer of Nova Innovation, said:

Winning the EnFAIT project in this very competitive call represents a huge vote of confidence in the ability of Nova Innovation and its partners to deliver. The project will make a major contribution to reducing the lifetime costs of tidal energy, and will boost investor confidence by providing hard-edged analytics of commercial and operational performance to inform investment decisions.

Being able to provide evidence of our technology delivered and working in real grid-connected conditions was crucial to our winning the EnFAIT project. Our cost control and cost reduction planning were equally decisive. We are looking forward to achieving further world-class results, working with our consortium partners.

Rémi Gruet, CEO of Ocean Energy Europe labelled the project an important pathfinder for the tidal energy industry in Europe:

This announcement is a significant development, and further proof that the tidal energy industry is now in take-off mode. The EnFAIT project is an important pathfinder project and will help strengthen Europe’s global technology leadership in tidal energy. The knowledge, experience and expertise gained from projects like this will pave the way for a new industrial manufacturing sector with a supply chain based firmly in Europe.

Notes to Editors

About the Enabling Future Arrays in Tidal (EnFAIT) Project

The EnFAIT Project was awarded under call LCE-15-2016 ‘Scaling up in the ocean energy sector to arrays’, from the EU Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (2013/743/EU) to develop marine energy sources and demonstrate technologies in European waters.

About Nova Innovation –

The technology needed to generate clean, predictable and affordable electricity using the ebb and flow of tides is rapidly developing, and there is growing worldwide interest in this rapidly growing renewable energy sector. Europe is at the forefront of developments in tidal energy, and Nova Innovation is a leading industry player headquartered in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Nova designs, builds and operates tidal energy devices. It also develops sites for arrays of these tidal turbines.

Founded in 2010, Nova has grown rapidly over the last few years: it now employs over 30 staff. In 2013, Ian Marchant joined the company as Chairman; Ian is former CEO of Scottish and Southern Energy, one of the UK’s largest utility companies. The strength of the team and Nova’s capability are demonstrated by the successful deployment of the world’s first offshore tidal array in Shetland. It was in recognition of this that Nova won the Judges Award at the Scottish Green Energy Awards 2016.

In addition to further UK opportunities, Nova has received interest from around the world for its technology, including South America, Asia, France and Canada. Along with recent substantial project funding wins, this promises an exciting future for the company.

The EnFAIT Consortium

The consortium of nine partner companies includes the following organisations:

  • Nova Innovation (UK) – world-leading tidal technology specialist.
  • ELSA (Belgium) – renewable energy project developer.
  • ORE Catapult (UK) – UK’s flagship technology innovation and research centre for advancing wind, wave and tidal energy.
  • HMK Technical Services Ltd (UK) – the largest Integrated Drive Systems provider in the UK.
  • SKF GmbH (Germany) – expert in the simulation and delivery of bearing and sealing solutions, with extensive experience with tidal energy companies in developing a range of solutions for tidal stream turbines.
  • The University of Edinburgh (UK) – world leaders in marine renewable energy systems, electrical power conversion, grid integration, and the inter-disciplinary assessment and socio-economic modelling of energy systems.
  • Wood Group (France) – world leader in offshore technologies and renewables having assessed over 160 GW of renewable energy developments internationally. Decades of experience in assessing and verifying renewable technologies.
  • Mojo Maritime Ltd (UK) – specialist in project management, engineering and consultancy services for the marine renewables industry.
  • RSK Environment (France) – leading multidisciplinary environmental consultancy.

About the EU Horizon 2020 Programme

Horizon 2020 is the largest EU Research and Innovation programme ever with nearly €80 billion of funding available over 7 years (2014 to 2020). The goal of the programme is to ensure that Europe produces world-class science, removes barriers to innovation and makes it easier for the public and private sectors in creating innovation.

Media Contacts

Sigma Communications
Ryan Smith, +44(0)7748 402542
Chris Glen, +44(0)7977 229469