Nova Innovation, a prominent tidal energy company, has achieved a milestone by deploying Scotland's inaugural floating solar demonstrator at the Port of Leith. The project, completed over the summer months, not only marks a significant technological advancement but also demonstrated resilience by generating electricity during Storm Babet in October.
The floating solar array, developed by Nova Innovation, powers the headquarters of port operator Forth Ports directly. This initiative showcases the potential for integrating floating solar technology into maritime operations.
According to solar installer Dynamic SLR, floating solar panels operate similarly to land-based systems, with inverters and arrays mounted on a floating platform. Combiner boxes collect direct current electricity, which is then converted into alternating current by solar inverters.
This technology holds immense global potential, with classification society DNV estimating a market potential of 4,000 GW of floating solar capacity. Nova's successful project in Scotland serves as a testament to the viability of this emerging technology and presents an opportunity to scale its implementation across the nation, contributing to the growth of solar capacity.
Simon Forrest, CEO of Nova Innovation, expressed enthusiasm about the project, stating, “With water covering two thirds of the planet, floating solar technology offers a promising means of harnessing abundant solar energy while preserving valuable land space. We are delighted to have deployed the first floating solar demonstrator at Forth Ports and are already working on larger installations.”
David Webster, Director of Energy for Forth Ports, emphasized the company's commitment to progressive change within the maritime industry. He stated, “We are excited to incorporate floating solar into our operations at the Port of Leith. Working with Nova Innovation demonstrates our drive towards progressive change within the maritime industry, as well as supporting our commitment to carbon neutrality by 2032 and achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2042.”