Several renowned Scotch whisky makers, including Glenmorangie, are working out a spirited plan to power their Highland distilleries with green hydrogen produced using generation from nearby offshore and onshore wind farms.
The neat plan is part of wider efforts by the North of Scotland Hydrogen Programme to set up an energy hub at Cromarty Firth.
Generation from nearby wind farms would be used to turn water into oxygen and green hydrogen, which would then be delivered to ports and distilleries as fuel.
Whisky producers such as Glenmorangie, Whyte and Mackay and Diageo have already signed up for the program, along with Iberdrola subsidiary Scottish Power, Pale Blue Dot Energy and the Port of Cromarty Firth itself. A feasibility study is underway and the plan could be put into action as soon as 2023.
Cromarty Firth is an arm of Scotland's largest sea inlet, the Moray Firth. The name is instantly recognizable to regular listeners of the BBC's popular shipping forecast, which has gained a cult following for its soothing reports on conditions at sea around the British Isles.
Up to 15 new wind farms will be developed near the entrance of Cromarty Firth as part of the green hydrogen program. The entrance is guarded by a pair of opposing headlands called the Sutors, a Scots word for shoemakers. Folklore has it that two giant shoemakers used the headlands as their workbenches, tossing their tools back and forth between them.