Tesla Delivers Powerpack to Scottish Tidal Power Station

Tesla has teamed up with Nova to create the world’s first grid-connected ‘baseload’ tidal power station.
Jessica Miley

Tesla has delivered a new Powerpack system to Nova Innovation’s tidal power station in Scotland which makes it the “the world’s first grid-connected ‘baseload’ tidal power station.” The Nova Innovation site uses underwater turbines to produce electricity from the energy of tides. 

Tides are extremely predictable but they don’t produce energy all day. But these turbines in conjunction with the Tesla Powerpack means the excess energy from the tides can be delivered to where it is needed when the turbines aren’t producing. 

The system balances uneven power supply

The system works in much the same way as it does when connected to wind farms, like Tesla's foundation project in Jamestown in South Australia. That project which was released back in 2017 was installed to stabilize the grid of South Australia. 

Tesla Delivers Powerpack to Scottish Tidal Power Station
Source: Tesla

A southern state in Australia that had experienced major blackouts during extreme weather in 2016. Tesla won the contract to build the battery system in conjunction with French energy company Neoen nearby wind farm. 

As part of the deal, Neoen has access to about 30 MW/ 90 MWh of the system's capacity to trade on the open market while the rest is controlled by the South Australian government. Since this successful project which can reportedly make a million dollars a day kickstarted a series of big Powerpack projects for Tesla across the world. 

Scotland becomes World leader in underwater turbines

Their latest collaboration with Nova was explained by their CEO, Simon Forrest, “By storing the clean energy generated by the natural ebb and flow of the tide, we can control the supply of electricity to the grid to match demand. This creates a consistent source of completely predictable power from a clean, sustainable resource. Nova’s expertise in smart grid control, renewable generation, and energy storage have delivered this game-changing innovation. We now look forward to expanding our services to other markets and renewable projects.”

Exact details about the Tesla and Nova system aren’t clear but Nova says the Powerpack is now connected to the grid. Scotland’s Energy Minister, Paul Wheelhouse, commented: “This project will utilize both renewable tidal technology and battery storage from one of the World’s pioneers of battery storage, Tesla, to overcome the challenges of current grid constraints and to enable the improved, uninterrupted, provision of low carbon energy not only in Shetland but in other small island communities across Scotland."

Environmental charities quick to approve green powerplant

Crucially, however, by undertaking this work in Scotland, we can also play a key role in helping inform the sustainable decarbonization of energy for communities across the World.” The £272,606 project is not only backed by the Scottish government but it is also supported by leading world charities such as the World Wildlife Foundation (WWF).


Sam Gardner, Acting Director of WWF Scotland said: “Predictable renewable power and smart storage working in harmony is the holy grail of the transition to a renewable electricity system. “It’s great that the Scottish Government has backed this project and we hope it inspires politicians and others with the confidence to provide further support for ground-breaking technologies to cut climate pollution.”


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