Scotch whisky distilleries to use renewable electricity created by underwater turbines

  • Plan is for tidal power firm Nova Innovation to install turbines between the islands of Jura and Islay, which are part of the Inner Hebrides
  • The waters around Scotland boast a range of interesting projects focused on marine energy.

Whisky distilleries on an archipelago west of mainland Scotland could soon be powered using electricity generated by subsea tidal turbines.

Tidal energy firm Nova Innovation said Wednesday it would install the turbines between the islands of Jura and Islay, which are part of the Inner Hebrides. The move will be another example of how marine energy can play a role in the decarbonization of communities and businesses.

The idea is that the 3 megawatt (MW) “Oran na Mara” project will reduce the islands’ reliance on fossil fuels by sending renewable electricity to the grid.

This electricity will be made available to the whisky distilleries — Islay has nine, while Jura has one — via a direct connection or through the grid.

Crown Estate Scotland, which manages marine, coastal and rural assets, as well as commercial property, has provided Nova Innovation with an Option Agreement for the project, which allows the company to commence development work. If all goes to plan, the project could be up and running by 2022.

The waters around Scotland boast a range of interesting projects focused on marine energy. The archipelago of Orkney, for instance, is home to the European Marine Energy Centre, or EMEC, where wave and tidal energy developers can test and assess their tech in the open sea.

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