The first three Nova M100 devices (installed capacity 300 kW) were deployed in 2016 and 2017. This was the world’s first offshore tidal array to supply electricity to the grid with greater than 17,000 generating hours reached in 2019. These turbines have continued to generate and export electricity to the grid since then
In 2018 licences were granted to extend the array to six turbines (increase capacity to 600 kW) and reconfigure the turbines within the array. In 2018, Nova Innovation worked with Tesla to add energy storage to their tidal technology. This created the world’s first grid connected tidal power station with the ability to deliver baseload (constant, steady-state) power and deliver energy on demand to meet consumer needs.
In August 2020 a fourth 100 kW turbine was added to the array. This was the next generation of Nova's M100 turbine, with no gearbox (direct drive). A further two 100 kW turbines will be installed in 2022-23, taking the total to six. This will be followed by reconfiguration of the turbines in the array to enable information on array effects and optimal layout design to be gathered.
The Shetland Tidal Array is located in the Bluemull Sound, Shetland off the far north east coast of mainland UK, between the islands of Yell and Unst.
Marine Licence required from Marine Scotland Licensing Operations Team.
Offshore Works Licence required from Shetland Islands Council.
Onshore Works licence required from Shetland Islands Council.
Licence to disturb European Protected Species (EPS) required from Marine Scotland Licensing Operations Team.
First three turbines installed 2016-17. Fourth turbine installed 2020. Two more turbines to be installed 2022/23.
Key Environmental Issues
Collision risk and disturbance to EPS. See https://marine.gov.scot/ml/marine-licence-shetland-tidal-array-extended-bluemull-sound-shetland-0664200009110
Papers, Reports, Research Studies
Licence application document:
Baseline Assessment: Nova Innovation - Shetland Tidal Array
|Receptor||Study Description||Design and Methods||Results||Status|
|Marine Mammals||Encounter Rate Modelling (ERM) to inform collision risk||Use of computer models to determine the potential for sensitive species to collide with turbine blades. A 98% avoidance rate was assumed.||The following calculations are based on the assumption that the devices are operating for 73% of the time as estimated by Nova. All year predicted encounter rate – 3.96 |
Breeding season parameters based on seals-at-sea density figure – 4.00
|Encounter Rate Modelling (ERM) to inform collision risk|
|Birds||Use of computer models to determine the potential for sensitive species to collide with turbine blades. A 98% avoidance rate was assumed.||Use of computer models to determine the potential for sensitive species to collide with turbine blades. A 98% avoidance rate was assumed.||Atlantic puffin (Breeding season ERM: 1.45; All year ERM: 1.36) |
Red-throated diver (Breeding season ERM: 0.13; All year ERM: 0.15)
Northern gannet (Breeding season ERM: 0.00; All year ERM: 0.00)
Common guillemot (Breeding season ERM: 0.37; All year ERM: 0.36)
European shag (Breeding season ERM: 4.87; All year ERM: 11.25)
Post-Installation Monitoring: Nova Innovation - Shetland Tidal Array
|Stressor||Receptor||Study Description||Design and Methods||Results||Status|
|Collision||Birds, Fish, Marine Mammals||Underwater video monitoring||Nova Innovation has carried out extensive video monitoring of the turbines currently deployed in the area to assess the potential impact on marine wildlife. Each turbine is fitted with cameras that are triggered by the presence of wildlife.||There have been no observations of any marine wildlife colliding with the blades. Fish, birds and seals have been observed on the cameras, however, both the fish and their predators were observed to leave the region of the turbines while tide was flowing (and blades were rotating), with fish moving to areas of lower flow on the seabed.||Ongoing|