Energy

First tidal-powered EV charging point installed in Shetland Islands

First tidal-powered EV chargin...
The EV charge point installed at Cullivoe harbor on the island of Yell gets its power from the Shetland Tidal Array
The EV charge point installed at Cullivoe harbor on the island of Yell gets its power from the Shetland Tidal Array
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The EV charge point installed at Cullivoe harbor on the island of Yell gets its power from the Shetland Tidal Array
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The EV charge point installed at Cullivoe harbor on the island of Yell gets its power from the Shetland Tidal Array
The evolt EV charge point is operated by ChargePlace Scotland
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The evolt EV charge point is operated by ChargePlace Scotland
Nova Innovation's Shetland Tidal Array currently comprises four 100-kW tidal turbines, with plans to add another two in the next few years
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Nova Innovation's Shetland Tidal Array currently comprises four 100-kW tidal turbines, with plans to add another two in the next few years
The Shetland Tidal Array is located in Bluemull Sound, a stretch of water between the islands of Unst and Yell
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The Shetland Tidal Array is located in Bluemull Sound, a stretch of water between the islands of Unst and Yell
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Nova Innovation has announced the installation of the first electric vehicle charge point powered by tidal energy, which is located on the island of Yell in the Shetlands.

The evolt charge point has been installed at Cullivoe harbor by the shores of Bluemull Sound, a strait between the northern Shetland islands of Unst and Yell. It's being operated by ChargePlace Scotland, the national EV charging network owned and operated by the Scottish Government.

"Tidal turbines in the Shetland Tidal Array supply the energy that is converted into electricity for the charge point," the company told New Atlas. "Each 100-kW turbine could provide enough electricity to charge two 50-kWh battery Teslas in an hour."

Nova Innovation's tidal turbines have been providing Shetland homes and businesses with electricity for more than five years. The first 30-kW turbine installed in Bluemull Sound became operational in April 2014. This was decommissioned two years later and replaced by a 100-kW tidal turbine, which was connected to the local grid in August 2016.

The Shetland Tidal Array is located in Bluemull Sound, a stretch of water between the islands of Unst and Yell
The Shetland Tidal Array is located in Bluemull Sound, a stretch of water between the islands of Unst and Yell

There are now four 100-kW turbines in the Shetland Tidal Array, with the energy harvested routed to onshore Tesla battery banks. The ebb and flow of the tide in the area has been found to repeat every six hours, with a short gap inbetween as the tide turns and changes direction. Storage during peak generation and export during slack periods allows for constant baseload delivery to the local grid.

Nova Innovation plans to add another two in the coming years, and says that once the six-turbines are up and running, they could then facilitate up to 30,000 EV charges per year.

The installation of the Cullivoe EV charge point was funded by Transport Scotland as part of a clean energy transition program, which has also seen the Scottish Government announcing that the sale of new cars powered solely by petrol or diesel combustion engines will end by 2032.

"It's fantastic to see that Nova Innovation is demonstrating yet again that Scotland remains at the forefront of developments in zero-emission transport solutions," said Michael Matheson, Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity. "I'm pleased that Scottish Government funding is enabling the installation of a new charge point in Shetland which operates entirely on renewable tidal energy. This type of innovation is key in responding to the global climate emergency and highlights the opportunities that can be realized here in Scotland as we transition to a net-zero economy."

The video below has more.

Nova Innovation reveals a new EV charge point in Shetland - powered by the tide.

Source: Nova Innovation

View gallery - 4 images
6 comments
paul314
How far can a car drive on that island?
Username
This charging station, like most charging stations, is powered by the grid. The fact that this particular grid is run by tidal power is interesting but irrelevant to the station.
SteveMc
@paul314 You can drive a car as far as you want as it's connected by car ferries to the mainland. The main point here is that it's a pristine environment and Scotland wants to keep it that way :)

@Username It's great making such a statement without explaining. How is this possibly irrelevant to the station?
RobertMinter
SteveMc, isn't Username's point that the title of the piece claims the charging point is powered by Tidal generated power. If one were to read the title on its own, it could be legitimately assumed that there were leads connecting a tidal generator directly to the charging station itself. Which there aren't.
ljaques
Nice concept, poor implementation. Most of those turbines create as much as 160dB of noise. Too bad they didn't use WAVE generators instead. (pristine, Steve?) Additionally, those have a pretty hefty price, so the ROI would be lengthy.
Philip Argy
You report that "The ebb and flow of the tide in the area has been found to repeat every six hours, with a short gap in between as the tide turns and changes direction". What a remarkable discovery - whose extensive research in that area "found" that piece of information?