Nova Innovation awarded £2m for tidal turbine VOLT project

Nova Innovation has been awarded £2m by the Scottish government to advance VOLT, a project aimed at taking tidal turbine manufacturing to a global level.

tidal turbine
Cabinet Secretary Michael Matheson and CEO of Nova Innovation Simon Forrest (Image: Nova Innovation)

VOLT (VOlume Manufacturing and Logistics for Tidal Energy) is a two-year project aiming to develop the first assembly line in Europe to mass manufacture tidal turbines.

The project will examine how to improve turbine performance, logistics for mass manufacture, and develop new techniques to ensure cost-effective delivery of tidal turbines. VOLT will also deliver an adaptable Remote Observation Platform (ROP) for rapid environmental monitoring of tidal energy sites.


In a statement, Simon Forrest, CEO of Nova Innovation, said: “This support is significant and very welcome as it sees Nova and the wider sector shift onto an industrial footing. It is an endorsement of Nova’s global ambition to transform the power of our seas into clean, predictable energy, empowering coastal communities all around the world.

“Nova has an exceptional track record for delivery, and we look forward to successfully delivering the VOLT project - making tidal energy mainstream worldwide.”

Nova Innovation’s 100kW turbines have been supplying the Shetland grid for over five years and will soon be deployed in North America and mainland Europe. In delivering VOLT, Nova said it will demonstrate what is required to efficiently scale up the production of tidal energy devices across the world.

Tidal energy costs are said to be falling as the sector scales up. According to Nova, it offers a competitive alternative to diesel generation in many markets and will be cheaper than nuclear by 2030. By 2050 the global market for tidal energy could be up to £126bn.

Michael Matheson, cabinet secretary for Net Zero in the Scottish government, said: “With our abundant natural resources and expertise, Scotland is ideally-placed to harness the enormous global market for marine energy whilst helping deliver a net-zero economy both here and across the world. That’s why we are determined to help the sector grow and develop.

The VOLT project will run from 2021 to 2023.