Floating Solar: Developments in Marine Renewables

An array of floating solar panels is currently being tested at Nova Innovation Ltd, Leith. The innovative engineering company received  £6.4 million from the Scottish National Investment Bank in September 2021 towards their project. First Minister of Scotland Humza Yousaf visited the facility on April 11th to find out more.

Humza Yousaf at Nova Innovation in front of an array of very large solar panels

Visiting the facility, Humza Yousaf said:

“These panels give a fascinating glimpse into the opportunities for Scotland’s future energy system and are the first step towards harnessing our significant potential for floating solar.

“The investment by the Scottish National Investment Bank in Nova Innovation helped expand its manufacturing base here in Leith and aligned strongly with the Scottish Government’s priority of supporting innovative technology that will help us achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2045.

“Scotland is already one of the most advanced hubs in Europe for the testing and demonstration of marine energy technology and I look forward to seeing where the panels will be launched in the near future.”

In 2016 Nova Innovation successfully developed three underwater tidal turbines, the first of its kind in Shetland where it has been powering homes and businesses ever since. In 2020 a 4th turbine was added and a further addition of a 5th and 6th makes it  the array with the largest number of turbines anywhere in the world. Turbines 5 and 6, Grace and Hali Hope, are connected via a pioneering subsea ‘hub’, sending power to shore by a single export cable. This innovation delivers significant savings on subsea cables, further reducing the cost of tidal power.

The array of floating solar panels will have  an official launch later this year with a multi-megawatt international order already in the pipeline.

Chief Executive of Nova Innovation Simon Forrest said:

“With record-high energy prices and growing concerns over security of supply, there is an immediate need for Scotland to focus on homegrown energy from our abundant natural resources. 

“Scotland is at the heart of the tidal energy revolution and Nova continues to lead the sector with proven technology and unrivalled reliability. With the addition of floating solar to our portfolio, we are ideally placed to help drive the race to Net Zero. 

“We were honoured to welcome the First Minister to discuss the economic benefits, job creation opportunities and the part Scotland can play in the global supply for renewable energy.” 

long shot of Humza Yousaf and team at Nova Innovation with the length of the solar panels running down one side

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