The €20 million flagship Enabling Future Arrays in Tidal (EnFAIT) project, led by Nova Innovation in collaboration with eight other organisations, including Wood, has received approval from the European Commission to proceed to its next stage after a successful first full year.
The world’s first grid-connected offshore array of tidal energy turbines is located in Bluemull Sound off the Shetland Islands in Scotland. As the independent technical and commercial expert on the project, Wood’s clean energy team commissioned to verify each stage of the development process from project engineering design to operation in the tidal stream environment.
The European Union-backed tidal energy project aims to prove that the reliability and availability of tidal energy arrays can be significantly increased and that the cost of tidal energy can be reduced by at least 40%. Tidal energy has the potential to diversify the global energy mix even further and places the UK and Shetland right on the front line of this industry that is advancing the energy transition.
The European Commission’s approval for the project to progress to its next stages follows a review by three independent technical experts to confirm that the project has progressed as planned and put in place the key ingredients for success. Over the next four years, the EnFAIT project will extend the Bluemull Sound array to six turbines and demonstrate that high array reliability and availability can be achieved using best practice maintenance regimes. The layout of the turbines will be adjusted to enable array interactions and optimisation to be studied for the very first time at an operational tidal energy site.
Over the next stages of the project, Wood will be responsible for verifying the commissioning and operational performance of the turbine array installed at the site. We will also be responsible for verifying that the decommissioning of the turbines is carried out safely, as well as capturing and disseminating lessons learnt for the benefit of the wider industry.