Speyside distillery converts to renewable AD-power supply

A near-200 year old Scots distillery is installing a biomass boiler which will make the Balmenach one of the lowest carbon footprint distilleries in Scotland when the Clearfleau biogas project is completed in Spring 2018.

In an energy-intensive industry concerned about its environmental impact, anaerobic digestion (AD) is a cost-effective way to dispose of energy-rich residues, making use of the latent energy content from whisky co-products. 

The Balmenach project will treat about 130-m3 per day of whisky co-products (pot ale and spent lees). More than 2,000-m3 per day of biogas will be fed to a combined heat and power (CHP) engine and will supply 200kW of power and 230kW of heat for use in the operation of the distillery site. 

It will be integrated with the existing biomass boiler that already supplies renewable heat to the distillery, transforming the Balmenach in Speyside into one of Scotland’s most energy-efficient distillery sites.

In addition to clean energy, the only other outputs from the plant are cleansed water, which will be discharged into the nearby burn, and nutrient rich bio-solids that can provide fertility for the barley grown in Speyside to make whisky.

Criag Chapman, Chief Executive, Clearfleau, said: “The Scottish Government’s enthusiasm for investment in clean energy generation is helping to stimulate interest in biogas on food and drink production sites with high energy demand.

“Our AD-power plants are cutting fossil fuel use, helping meet energy reduction targets cutting carbon emissions and offering an attractive return on investment.”

11 Dec 2017

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