Prince Charles cuts ribbon of whisky waste powerplant

22nd April, 2013 by Chris Cox

Prince Charles has officially opened a new biomass power plant that will turn waste from the whisky distilling process into electricity for 9,000 homes.

Whisky bottles

Waste from the Scotch whisky production process will be transfromed into biofuel to power 9,000 homes

The Duke of Rothesay, as he is known in Scotland, opened the new 8.32MW Helius CoRDE facility in Rothes, Speyside yesterday as part of a tour of the Moray region.

More than half of Scotland’s distilleries reside in Moray and the new plant, which cost £60.5m to build, will use the by-products created during the distilling process to power an expected 9,000 homes in the area, saving around 46,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide every year.

The plant, which is a joint venture between Helius and the Combination of Rothes Distillers (CoRD), will also produce heat and an animal feed supplement called Pot Ale Syrup.

Adrian Bowles, CEO of Helius Energy, said: “I am delighted HRH The Duke of Rothesay chose to open our state of the art new plant.”

“This is renewable energy in action using innovative technology. Projects like these will increasingly form part of the UK energy mix and we are privileged and proud that HRH The Duke of Rothesay joined us to formally open our plant as it begins production.”

Scottish distilleries produce an estimated 500,000 tonnes of draff (waste barley kernels) and two billion litres of pot ale (yeast residue) per year. Previously, around 97% of such by-products were simply disposed of with the rest ground down into pellets and used as cattle feed, but now the unwanted material will be given a new lease of life in helping to power and heat local homes.

The scientist responsible for pioneering the new technique, Martin Tangney, won an award for his work last year.

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