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Nova using tidal power to produce Scotch whisky

Simon Forrest: ‘excited by the opportunity’

Marine energy company Nova Innovation has announced a ground-breaking project to produce Scotch whisky distilled by tidal power.

The company, chaired by former SSE CEO Ian Marchant, will install a series of underwater turbines between the isles of Islay and Jura in Scotland’s Inner Hebrides to create clean, renewable power generated by the tide.

It will displace fossil fuels used on the islands, and power local whisky distilleries.

Furthermore, the subsea turbines have no visual impact on the landscape, create no shipping or navigational hazard, and work in harmony with the marine environment.

The revolutionary 3MW ‘Oran na Mara’ project – Gaelic for ‘song of the sea’ – follows the success of Nova’s tidal power scheme at Bluemull Sound that has been powering homes, businesses and the grid in Shetland since 2016.

Simon Forrest, CEO of Nova Innovation, said: “We are excited by the opportunity to combine Scotland’s rich whisky heritage with the immense power of the tide in the Sound of Islay.

“Tidal energy can play a huge role in decarbonising the whisky industry and ensuring a sustainable future for Scotland’s island communities.”

Ian Marchant: chairman

Crown Estate Scotland has awarded Nova Innovation an option agreement for the project which enables the company to start its detailed development.

Mark McKean, development manager at Crown Estate Scotland, said: “Nova Innovation are (is) taking one of the crucial next steps in Scotland’s renewable energy journey.

“This project is a great example of how a local energy system might work – and we’re hopeful to see more of these types of projects around Scottish waters, creating new developments that will grow Scotland’s blue economy and push us closer to reaching the country’s goal of net zero emissions by 2045.”

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