By Karen Peattie

A SCOTTISH tidal energy specialist has secured £6.4 million from the Scottish National Investment Bank to fund manufacturing and distribution of its subsea tidal turbines as it increases its presence across the UK and expands into new markets overseas.

Nova Innovation, which successfully installed the world’s first offshore tidal array of 100kW turbines in Shetland in 2016, focuses on “scalable solutions” which allow it to “install, adapt and enhance its technology on site, creating a reliable and replicable product for mass production”.

Simon Forrest, chief executive of Edinburgh-based Nova, said that the company’s sustainable energy solutions and tidal turbines “meet all our client requirements in the toughest of environments”, noting: “Our products deliver clean, predictable power with no visual impact or negative effects on the environment.

“We have been successfully powering homes, businesses, and the grid in Shetland for over five years. We now look forward to delivering our product to new markets around the world.”

Nova’s turbines can be used to generate tidal energy within small projects in coastal communities or scaled up to large developments that power the national grid. As well as strong domestic opportunities for tidal energy in the waters around Scotland and the UK, the firm’s technology “has global potential as there are strong tidal currents on every continent”.

Mr Forrest added: “We would like to thank the Scottish National Investment Bank for this significant investment in mass manufacturing and distribution of Nova’s tidal energy technology – supporting Scotland’s transition to net zero and tackling the climate emergency.”

The bank’s investment will also fund ongoing research and development into marine energy.

Last month, Nova said is looking at potential sites in Scotland for a manufacturing plant after which it would expect to double employee numbers to 70 from 35 within the next three years. While core technology will be manufactured in Scotland, supply chain benefits will be passed on to other Scottish businesses, Mr Forrest noted.

The company has already experienced strong global demand for its technology with current projects across the UK, Europe, Asia and North America, including one to install 15 turbines in Nova Scotia, Canada, with the first ones due to be delivered by the end of the year.

Eilidh Mactaggart, chief executive of the Scottish National Investment Bank, said: “Nova Innovation is a great example of Scottish engineering finding new solutions to the climate crisis. Its tidal technology has the potential to sustainably meet the energy needs of remote communities globally.

“This innovative business has proven that its tidal technology works successfully commercialised its technology with a growing order book for its turbines both locally and globally.

“Nova’s recent development of tidal powered electric vehicle charging points underlines the company’s ability to develop and expand the use of its technology creatively. Nova’s focus on the supply to island and coastal communities who were previously heavily dependent on fossil fuels has been a key driver in its success to date.”