WHISKY GOES GREEN
Over the centuries, whisky has fueled many a fire, metaphorically. Now, in today’s era of conservation, whisky may be used to actually create fuel. Helius Energy in Scotland has formed a joint venture with a consortium of Speyside distillers to build a combined heat and power plant that will be the first in the world to be fuelled by whisky by-products. The £5Om project will generate 7.2MW of electricity, which could be used onsite or exported to Scotland’s National Grid – enough to power 9OOO homes. The plant could also save more than 2O,OOO tons of carbon dioxide each year when compared with the distillers’ current energy use. A separate plant will turn the liquid co-product of making whisky, known as pot ale, into a concentrated organic fertilizer and an animal feed for use by local farmers. Helius was established to develop and operate biomass-fired renewable electricity generation plants. It has formed a joint venture with the Combination of Rothes Distillers (Cord), which comprises the Edrington, Chivas Brothers, Glen Grant, Inver House Distillers, Diageo, and Benriach distilling groups. Construction should begin early next year and take about two years. Cord was founded in 19O4 to process the pot ale produced by whisky companies in the Rothes area.