SCOTLAND’S first array of floating solar panels will be installed this year as part of a move to generate renewable energy and reduce carbon emissions.

Humza Yousaf toured the manufacturing facility of Nova Innovation on Tuesday in Leith where the panels are being tested before their launch.

The First Minister said the panels marked the “first step towards harnessing our significant potential for floating sonar”.

Nova Innovation installed the world’s first offshore tidal turbine array in Shetland in 2016 and subsequently received £6.4 million from the Scottish National Investment Bank in September 2021.

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It has since established project sites in Canada, France and Indonesia. Its floating solar panels build on its expertise in tidal energy and an official launch of the installation will take place later this year with a multi-megawatt international order already in the pipeline.

Yousaf 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.”

Chief executive of Nova Innovation Simon Forrest 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.”