We present a novel 3D implementation of a horizontal axis tidal turbine (HATT) in the shallow water hydrostatic code SHYFEM. The uniqueness of this work involves the blade element momentum (BEM) approach: the turbine is parameterized by applying momentum sink terms in the x and y momentum equations. In this way, the turbine performance is the result of both the flow conditions and the turbine’s geometric characteristics. For these reasons, the model is suitable for farm-layout studies, since it is able to predict the realistic behavior of every turbine in a farm, considering the surrounding flow field. Moreover, the use of a shallow water code, able to reproduce coastal morphology, bathymetry wind, and tide effects, allows for studying turbine farms in realistic environments.