Scotland Really Gets Powered by Whisky
Any Scotch whisky lover should feel a satisfyingly warm glow at the thought of distillery waste products helping keep the lights on in 9,000 homes. The bioenergy plant that can make such a reality happen is scheduled to start up in Rothes, Scotland by 2013.
The new biomass plant represents the first venture by the Scotch whisky industry to provide electricity to the public, according to The Guardian. But the industry also has other bioenergy projects underway to supply electricity to certain distilleries.
Spent grains from the whisky-making process would come from 16 of 50 distilleries near the future site of the biomass plant in Rothes. The biomass plant is designed to burn the distillery by-products, called "draff," along with a mixture of woodchips. But the draff would provide most of the fuel.
The completed plant should provide the power equivalent of two large wind turbines .
Another waste residue left in the copper stills of distilleries, called pot ale, will find a separate renewable use as concentrated organic fertilizer and animal feed for local farms.
A combined portfolio of such projects could go a long way toward the stated goal of Alex Salmond, first minister of Scotland, to create 100 percent of Scotland's electricity through renewable energy by 2020, The Guardian reports.
Some of the distilleries taking part in the effort include well-known brands such as Glenlivet, Chivas Regal, Macallan, and Famous Grouse.
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