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Major European backing for Scottish tidal power project

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A Scottish company has secured funding from the European Commission to demonstrate a direct drive tidal turbine – a technology predicted to have the potential to revolutionise the future of the tidal energy sector.

Edinburgh-based Nova Innovation, a leader in tidal energy generation, in August announced the deployment of the world’s first fully-operational, grid-connected offshore tidal array in Shetland.

It has now secured grant funding of €2.25 million (£1.93m) through the European Commission under phase 2 of Horizon 2020’s SME Instrument programme.

The project titled D2T2 (Direct Drive Tidal Turbine) is designed to produce a commercial demonstrator of Nova’s innovative direct drive tidal turbine technology.

It will be a milestone in the long-term commercialisation of tidal energy as a source of predicable renewable power.

Direct drive machines offer huge promise for the successful development of the sector, offering lower operating costs, improved reliability and increased energy output.

Simon Forrest, Nova Innovation managing director, said: “We are extremely excited to be embarking on this exciting phase in the commercialisation of our direct drive tidal turbine.

“This will be a major breakthrough for the sector globally – driving down the cost of tidal energy by improving the reliability, efficiency and maintainability of tidal turbines.”

Thanking the European Commission for their confidence in the Scottish firm’s technology, he added: “We are looking forward to bringing this innovation to a commercial reality so that it can be exported throughout the world.”

Bernd Reichert, unit head of at the Horizon 2020 SME Instrument programme, commented: “We are looking for an elite of highly innovative small and medium-sized businesses that can transform markets and create rapid growth.

“Nova Innovation is a great example of how SMEs can disrupt the market with an innovative idea and the right technology and we are proud to count Nova Innovation in our programme.

The D2T2 project with a total expenditure of €3.2m (£2.74m) will be carried out in Scotland, widely regarded as the world centre of excellence for tidal energy development, and will run for 30 months.

 

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