Scotland’s latest craft Distillery is powered by renewable energy.
Situated high on a hill above Dingwall, in the Highlands, Scotland’s newest craft distillery, Glen Wyvis, is entirely powered by renewable energy.
The Glen Wyvis Distillery project was initiated in 2015 by local entrepreneur, John McKenzie, who with the support of other key people in the wider community gained funding for feasibility studies to find the most suitable site for a community-owned distillery in the Dingwall area. These studies resulted in a site being secured on a 175 year lease, with planning permission given for a craft distillery – and all environmental and distilling licenses in place.
In April 2016, the Glen Wyvis founders launched the biggest-ever community crowd-funding campaign in UK history. Like-minded people from Dingwall and beyond came together to invest in the project – all keen to be part of something truly historic and as a Community Benefit Society, the aim of the founders is to take a lead role in the rejuvenation of Dingwall and the wider Highland community.
A total of £2.6 million was raised in just 77 days from more than 2,200 members, with over 60% of them from the local IV postcode area – and the remainder coming from a total of 31 countries worldwide.
Following the detailed planning, design and costing phase, the construction of the new distillery commenced in January 2017. The stills, distilling equipment and boiler arrived in the summer and completion of the build phase and the commissioning of the stills and boiler took place, on schedule, in November 2017, and the first run of new make spirit will take place before the end of 2017.
A second Open Share Offer was brought forward to open the door to a new audience and reduce borrowings from corporate entities.
The Founders of the project were clear from the outset that the distillery should create benefit for the local community and local businesses and that the Distillery should operate entirely on renewable energy – electricity is generated on site by a wind turbine and solar panels and the process heat is provided by a steam raising biomass boiler.
Fortunately local firm, R & I Cruden, based just seven miles away at Muir of Ord provide a full design and build service for mechanical projects including heating, plumbing, and ventilation and, most importantly, they also had extensive experience of Renewables and they were awarded the contract to supply and install a steam biomass boiler for the Distillery.
After thoroughly researching the market they selected a Binder 550kW Steam Boiler supplied by Binder’s UK Distributor Wood Energy. R & I Cruden’s Managing Director, Ian Cruden, said ‘We selected the Binder steam boiler as it is an extremely robust industrial boiler designed for high utilisation. The support provided by Wood Energy, the UK distributors of Binder, with their extensive knowledge and experience with Binder boilers was also a key factor in making our decision’.
Boiler Type Binder RRK 400 – 600
Steam 10 Bar (g)/ 175°C
Maximum Rated Output 800kg/h (550kW)
Wood Fuel Specification Wood Chip
Commissioned November 2017