Siemens is supplying specialised gear and control technology to growing UK tidal power generation company Nova Innovation, for the world’s first community tidal power project.

Siemens Industry’s Mechanical Drives has supplied a planetary unit plus IE2 electric motor, along with inverter drive and control system through Siemens specialist technology partner HMK.

The Siemens technology features in the world’s first community owned tidal power project, based in the Bluemull Sound in Shetland, between the islands of Yell and Unst, the two most northerly inhabited islands in the UK. It is a 30kW unit with horizontal axis and three bladed rotor, and is being deployed in early 2013 to provide power to a local ice house and industrial estate. The local community will reap the benefits of the project, safeguarding jobs and providing valuable income.

The turbine was designed by Nova Innovation, the Leith-based tidal solutions company, and is currently being built by Steel Engineering in Renfrew. The generating unit, with Siemens gearbox and generator, is housed in a watertight nacelle and is fully yawable, which will increase predicted revenue by up to 40%.

Nova Innovation director Simon Forrest said, “Siemens have provided us with a complete design technology solution in that the drive and control unit are fully integrated. We are winning more work in this important area, and plans are progressing well for significant growth in the emerging global tidal market. Our units are designed to be reliable, cost-effective to install and to maximise generating efficiency.”

The Bluemull Sound unit is expected to be operational by Spring 2013. General manager at Siemens Mechanical Drives, Simon Nadin, commented, “Tidal technology is developing fast and the UK leads the world in this sector, which has significant potential for greening the UK economy. We are doing everything we can to support emerging tidal specialists such as Nova and are delighted our drives and control units are being selected for such important milestone projects.”