Scotch Distillery to Raise Concentration on Biogas-Fueled Cogeneration

GE announced an expansion with Scottish distilling icon William Grant & Sons (Grant’s) to supply a combined heat and power solution with a Jenbacher J620 gas engine to the Grant’s Girvan Distillery in Girvan, Scotland. Operating on biogas from residual malt materials used in distillation to produce alcohol, the J620 gas engine will generate 3 megawatts (MW) of additional power, increasing plant efficiency and reducing the carbon footprint of the facility. GE will deliver the unit to William Grant & Sons this fall.

William Grant & Sons distils some of the world’s leading brands of Scotch whisky, including the world’s most awarded single malt, Glenfiddich; The Balvenie range of handcrafted single malts; and the world’s third largest blended Scotch, Grant’s, as well as other brands such as Hendrick’s Gin, Sailor Jerry and most recently, Tullamore Dew Irish Whiskey.

 GE’s Jenbacher Type 4 Gas Engines

GE’s Jenbacher Type 4 Gas Engines

Grant’s is continuing its history of implementing more efficient distilling methods while limiting environmental impact. “Our ability to generate on-site power at the Girvan distillery has been critical in our continued efforts to reduce our carbon footprint while increasing efficiency,” said Conn Lynch, Girvan site leader, William Grant & Sons. “The addition of the J620 also qualifies this site for Renewable Obligation Certificates, once again adding to our extensive green credentials.”

Grant’s already has three J420 Jenbacher gas engines installed at the plant, with two commissioned in 2009 and one commissioned this summer. In total, the generation plant can generate about 7 MW.
The new engine, supplied to Grant’s through Clarke Energy in Liverpool, has the ability to run at more than 43 percent electrical efficiency operating on biogas. As such, the J620 enables customers to use local and abundant waste materials for independent power generation. At Grant’s, the J620, which will be operational early next year, will reuse the whisky wastewater (typically cast off as waste during the manufacturing process) to power the facility. This, in turn, will reduce the waste generated during the distilling process and allow the facility to operate at increased efficiency. Meanwhile, the engine’s exhaust also will be captured and recovered as thermal (heat) power to produce steam used in the distilling process.  

The delivery of the J620 underscores the growing global demand for flexible, cost-effective and efficient electricity generation, specifically using regional fuel materials. “GE’s flex fuel gas engine solutions give our customers the ability to utilize naturally occurring and local resources to generate power while significantly reducing their environmental impact,” noted Rafael Santana, president and CEO – GE Gas Engines for GE Energy. “With our gas engine technologies, companies are empowered to meet aggressive carbon reduction goals while improving operating costs.”
The gas engines employed in this solution have applications in industries ranging from hospitals to universities, sport stadiums to farms and from airports to small towns.

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