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BusinessGreen: Whisky to energy galore as biomass plant gets green light


Plans for an anaerobic digestion plant to use waste at the Glenfiddich Distillery to generate power approved by councillors


A planned green energy plant designed to generat power using waste from a whisky distillery has been given the go ahead by councillors in Scotland this week.

The anaerobic digestion facility at Glenfiddich Distillery in Dufftown will use spent malted barley and pot ale from the distilling process to produce biogas that can then be cleaned and injected into the gas grid or used to generate electricity.

The plant at the distillery, owned by William Grant and Sons, is also expected to produce heat and steam for use in the distilling process. It will be built on what is currently a 1.6 acre site in the south-east corner of the Glenfiddich distillery.

Neal MacPherson, Moray council's principal planning officer, told councillors the project would deliver numerous benefits for the area. "This proposal would see the re-use of by products from the distillation process that would provide and re-use waste and heat, increasing efficiency of the processes at Glenfiddich Distillery, create approximately four new jobs and also provide either electricity or gas that would feed back into the national grid or gas network," he said.

Glenfiddich is the latest distillery to use anaerobic digestion technology to improve efficiency and lower costs.

A £17m plant at Speyside neighbours the Roseisle whisky distillery, owned by Diageo, already provides half the site's electricity needs, while in summer last year an 8.23MW plant came online at nearby Rothes to process by-product from a range of local distillers into enough electricity to power 9,000 homes.