June 28, 2024

Nova Launches its First Floating Solar Project in Edinburgh

Nova Innovation and RSK have launched AquaGen365 to install floating solar power stations worldwide, following Nova’s first floating solar project at the Port of Leith in Edinburgh.

Partnering for Global Floating Solar Projects

Scottish marine energy company Nova Innovation has partnered with RSK, a sustainable solutions provider, to create AquaGen365, a joint venture focused on designing, building, and installing floating solar power stations globally. This initiative follows the successful launch of Nova’s first floating solar project at the Port of Leith in Edinburgh, which supplies renewable energy to Forth Ports' headquarters.

The marine solar demonstrator successfully generated electricity during Storm Babet in October, enduring torrential rain and 70mph winds. It continued to produce power through 11 additional named storms over the winter, showcasing the durability of Nova's design and technology in harsh conditions.

The Port of Leith project exemplifies the use of floating solar in near-shore sea areas. This technology can also be installed in sheltered inland waters and reservoirs, as well as in more challenging offshore locations, where it can be co-located with offshore wind farms without using valuable land space.

9,343TWh Floating Solar Capacity

AquaGen365 aims to scale up floating solar power, utilizing water, which covers two-thirds of the planet. A recent study found that floating solar could produce 9,343 terawatt-hours (TWh) of electricity, enough to meet Europe’s electricity demand three times over.

The company merges RSK’s extensive global network of over 200 environmental, engineering, and technical service firms in 40 countries with Nova Innovation’s leading marine energy expertise. With a combined experience of over 20 years, AquaGen365 has developed renewable energy projects involving tidal streams, onshore wind, ground-mounted solar PV, and hydropower technologies.

RSK director David Taylor emphasized that floating solar provides clean, predictable, and low-cost energy, offering a viable alternative to ground-mounted and rooftop solar, especially where land use is not feasible.

“Floating solar generates clean, predictable, and low-cost electricity utilising dependable and bankable technology, providing an alternative to ground-mounted and rooftop solar. It provides a convincing case for cost-effective and decarbonised energy generation in situations when land use is not an option,” Taylor said.

Other Benefits

He noted that floating solar benefits various sectors, including sustainable agricultural irrigation, achieving carbon net zero targets in the water industry, powering industrial sites, and promoting greener ports and harbors.

“Floating solar will benefit many sectors, including enabling sustainable irrigation in agriculture, assisting with the achievement of carbon net zero targets in the water industry, providing renewable energy to power industrial sites and complexes, and driving the push for 'greener' ports and harbours,” He added.

Nova Innovation CEO Simon Forrest highlighted that floating solar marks a significant advancement in renewable energy, with the advantage of quick, large-scale installation, particularly in areas where land is limited or costly. He mentioned that with the commitment to triple global renewable energy capacity by 2030, floating solar is a cost-effective and accessible solution to combat climate change. The combined expertise of RSK and Nova Innovation is ideal for meeting these global targets.

“Floating solar represents a significant advancement in the quest for clean renewable energy. Its key advantage is that it can be built rapidly and on a large scale, especially in locations where land is rare or expensive,” Simon Forrest explained. "With the goal made at COP28 to treble global renewable energy capacity by 2030, floating solar is a low-cost, accessible technology that has the potential to significantly reduce climate change. RSK and Nova's complementary skills work perfectly together to assist in reaching these global ambitions.”

Nova’s floating solar technology has proven its reliability in all conditions, including enduring the harsh Scottish winter. With this technology, AquaGen365 aims to revolutionize the floating solar industry, setting new standards for innovation and sustainability.

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