Shetland tidal energy array to be extended
Tidal energy specialist Nova Innovation is to lead a 20m euro (£17.6m) project to extend a tidal energy farm off the coast of Shetland.
The project will extend the existing Bluemull Sound tidal array to six or more turbines.
Nova said the contract was a "flagship initiative" for the EU, which is contributing 14.9m euro (£13.1m) through its Horizon 2020 project.
The aim is to increase the commercial viability of tidal power.
Nova will head a consortium of nine industrial, academic and research organisations from across Europe on the project, which runs from July 2017 until June 2022.
Simon Forrest, chief executive officer of Nova Innovation, said: "Winning the EnFAIT [Enabling Future Arrays in Tidal] 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."
Last year, Nova said it had become the first company in the world to deploy a fully-operational tidal array when it announced that the 100kw turbines installed at Bluemull Sound had begun delivering electricity to the grid.
Environmental campaign group WWF Scotland has welcomed this latest announcement about the array.
Sarah Beattie-Smith, the organisation's climate and energy policy officer, said: "With some of the most powerful tides in Europe, Scotland is well-placed to lead in developing this promising technology, which will help to cut climate emissions and create green jobs right across the country.
"We hope the kind of innovation and investment shown in this major new project inspires politicians and others to give backing to ground-breaking ideas in other areas of energy use like heat and transport, to power Scotland towards its target of generating half of all Scotland's energy needs from renewables by 2030."