Humza Yousaf visits Nova Innovation as Scotland's first floating solar panels set to be installed

On Tuesday, First Minister Humza Yousaf toured Nova Innovation in Leith, where the panels are being tested ahead of their launch later this year.

Image: Solar panels at a floating photovoltaic plant in Haltern, Germany. File pic

Scotland’s first array of floating solar panels are set to be installed this year.

The project is part of plans to generate renewable energy and reduce carbon emissions.

On Tuesday, First Minister Humza Yousaf toured Nova Innovation in Leith, Edinburgh, where the panels are being tested ahead of their launch.

Mr Yousaf said: “These panels give a fascinating glimpse into the opportunities for Scotland’s future energy system and are the first step towards harnessing our significant potential for floating solar.”

First Minister Humza Yousaf and Energy Secretary Neil Gray (right) alongside CEO Simon Forrest during a visit to tidal energy company Nova Innovation in Edinburgh, to preview a new floating solar panel installation which, when deployed, will be a first for Scotland. Picture date: Tuesday April 11, 2023.

Image: First Minister Humza Yousaf and Energy Secretary Neil Gray (right) alongside CEO Simon Forrest during a visit to Nova Innovation on Tuesday

Nova Innovation installed the world’s first offshore tidal turbine array off the coast of Shetland in 2016.

The company subsequently received £6.4m from the Scottish National Investment Bank (SNIB) in 2021 to help boost its production of innovative renewable energy generators.

It has since established project sites in Canada, France and Indonesia.

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The first minister said: “The investment by the Scottish National Investment Bank in Nova Innovation helped expand its manufacturing base here in Leith and aligned strongly with the Scottish government’s priority of supporting innovative technology that will help us achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2045.

“Scotland is already one of the most advanced hubs in Europe for the testing and demonstration of marine energy technology and I look forward to seeing where the panels will be launched in the near future.”

The official launch of the installation will take place later this year with a multi-megawatt international order already reportedly in the pipeline.

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Simon Forrest, chief executive of Nova Innovation, said: “With record-high energy prices and growing concerns over security of supply, there is an immediate need for Scotland to focus on homegrown energy from our abundant natural resources.

“Scotland is at the heart of the tidal energy revolution and Nova continues to lead the sector with proven technology and unrivalled reliability. With the addition of floating solar to our portfolio, we are ideally placed to help drive the race to net zero.

“We were honoured to welcome the first minister to discuss the economic benefits, job creation opportunities and the part Scotland can play in the global supply for renewable energy.”

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