A new renewable energy plant in the north east of Scotland is set to deliver green heat to a local distillery, fuelled by local forestry residue. The project is an example of how the UK can cut costs and carbon emissions through more efficient use of heat.
About the project
The Craigellachie plant works like a traditional power station, where steam is created to drive a turbine which generates electricity. But there are two important differences.
First, the plant is fuelled by renewable forestry residue rather than fossil fuels. The low-grade wood is leftover from the local forestry industry. It is taken to the site and chipped, then used as fuel to boil water and create steam. This steam then drives a turbine to generate electricity.
Secondly, a combined heat and power plant like the Craigellachie plant is designed to capture and use steam which is often wasted in traditional power stations. This excess steam is set to be supplied through a network of pipes to local businesses providing them with heat.
These businesses include a nearby whisky distillery that needs heat as part of its production process and currently pays to generate it on-site. Using the heat from the power station is more efficient and costs less.