A power generator fueled by whiskey. Strictly speaking, the upcoming power station to be built in Scotland will be powered by by-products from the whiskey distillation process, rather than the golden drinkable alcohol itself. Still, it has to qualify as the best alt-fuel power source ever.
A consortium formed by Helius Energy and Rothes Distillers Ltd has just earned planning permission to build a $35 million power station between Aberdeen and Inverness. Helius is already an expert in developing biomass power generators, and the station will be using its “GreenSwitch” technology to combine a liquid whiskey by-product called “pot ale,” solid waste from the original whiskey grain–“draff”–and woodchip into fuel for the powerstation. In this location, however, a secondary process will also take place inside the biomass refinery built next to the power station. This one’s dubbed “GreenFields” since it converts the whiskey by-products into a liquid which makes a useful soil-conditioner for farming, and high-protein animal feed.
When it’s finished in around two years, the power station will generate 7.2 megawatts of electricity, which is enough to power 9,000 nearby homes as well as the distillery itself. That means the power station is powering the distillery that makes the fuel for the power station…I need a wee dram myself to work it all out.
Suffice it to say that the plant is ecologically sound, since it reduces the CO2 burden of the whiskey plant by some 46,642 tonnes of CO2 per year, compared to sourcing its electrical needs in a coal-fired power station.
Plus, I wonder what it’ll smell like down-wind?