Old fashioneds can be made with whisky, which brings me to my real point — an interesting article by Kirsty Scott in the Guardian this week. In Speyside, home to half of Scotland’s whisky distilleries, a project is underway to use the by-product of Scottish whisky distilleries to provide power to local homes. By 2013, energy from the used grains leftover in the distilling process could be powering as many as 9000 homes in the region.
The venture, a cooperation between Helius Energy and the Combination of Rothes Distillers, was first announced in 2009, but contracts have now been awarded for the construction of the biomass power plant. The used grains will be burned with wood chips to generate a projected 7.2 MW of power.
Interestingly, this isn’t the first green project that Scotland’s whisky distillers have gotten involved in.
A bioenergy plant at Scotland’s largest distillery in Fife is close to completion. The project by Diageo will provide 98% of the thermal steam and 80% of the electrical power used at the Cameronbridge distillery. And last year, scientists at Napier University announced they had developed a method of producing biofuel from the by-products of the whisky distilling process which could power cars and even aircraft. The new fuel, they said, could be available at petrol pumps within a few years.
Glenlivet, Chivas Regal, Famous Grouse and Macallan have all been named as participants in the new plant project.