17 March 2008
Plans for a scheme to transform distillery by-products into renewable electricity, usable heat and organic soil conditioners progressed today as The Combination of Rothes Distillers (CoRD) lodged a formal planning application for the scheme with Moray Council.
Helius Energy plc and The Combination of Rothes Distillers Limited (CoRD) plan to develop a GreenSwitchTM small scale biomass Combined Heat and Power (CHP) generation plant. This will generate 7.2 megawatts of electricity, to be used within the site and exported to the national grid. This represents enough electricity to power 9,000 homes.
The GreenSwitchTM project will use a combination of co-products, draff and pot ale from distillery operations, as well as wood chip from sustainable sources, to generate around 7.2 megawatts of electricity, as well as heat for the Rothes site. Surplus power will be exported to the national grid.
The CHP plant will replace CoRD’s current dependence on fossil fuels, saving an estimated 46,642 tonnes CO2 a year compared with an equivalent level of generating capacity from a coal fired station. The company is looking to encourage take up of heat from their plant through a community heating scheme.
The scheme will also turn the liquid by-product of whisky production, known as Pot Ale, into a concentrated organic fertiliser for use by local farmers. The development will not only reduce the direct carbon emissions from the operation of the CoRD plant, but could also reduce the carbon footprint of local farming activity and the barley used in the malting process.
Frank Burns, General Manager, CoRD, said:
“The stakeholders are solidly behind this exciting vision. It has major benefits for the malt distilling industry on Speyside, will improve the long-term sustainability of CoRD and help to meet local and national targets for renewable energy. It will also assist the Scotch whisky industry to sustain its future growth plans. From the work we have carried out, the concept appears very positive from an environmental, technical and commercial perspective.”
John Seed, Managing Director, Helius Energy commented:
“We are delighted to be working with The Combination of Rothes Distillers on this flagship project. Not only will this project allow the CoRD to significantly reduce their carbon footprint through the use of biomass to generate both heat and power, but it will offer exciting new opportunities to local farmers who can benefit from high quality organic fertiliser which is not produced from inorganic sources of nitrogen.”
Following approval and order-placement, the plant, projected cost £24 million, would take 18 to 24 months to construct. This would be the first project to use draff and pot ale as a biomass fuel instead of wood.
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