Green light for hydrogen-powered spirits

Arbikie distillation

HYDROGEN experts Logan Energy and renewables specialists Locogen are welcoming the news that planning permission has been granted for their wind turbine and electrolyser project at Arbikie Distillery near Montrose.

The development will enable the distillery to power its operations from environmentally-sustainable green hydrogen – that is hydrogen created using renewable electricity from the wind turbine and local water sources.

The project has been enabled by a £3 million funding award from the UK Government Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Green Distilleries competition.

Planning permission for the wind turbine, connecting cables and hydrogen electrolyser compound has now been granted by Angus Council with unanimous support from councillors.

Logan Energy and Locogen are preparing equipment and speaking to suppliers, and expect to start work on site at Arbikie later this summer, with installation of the wind turbine scheduled for November. The aim is for the new hydrogen system to be in operation next year. It will help displace the oil which the distillery currently uses to make steam for the distillation process.

The Green Distilleries fund aims to help distilleries cut CO2 emissions by one million tonnes, contributing to Scottish and UK net zero targets.

Burning hydrogen does not release any carbon emissions and therefore the Arbikie project represents a clean fuel alternative to current practices. The project will demonstrate the technical feasibility of using hydrogen in distillation and similar processes. It has huge potential to be replicated in other industry settings.

Bill Ireland, CEO of Logan Energy, said:

“As demand to switch to net zero technologies continues to grow, this project is a further example of the important role hydrogen can play. We’re incredibly proud to be supporting businesses with their net zero ambitions, and especially so in this project as we are helping a Scottish distillery demonstrate real green credentials.“

Andy Lyle, CEO of Locogen, said:

“This is a great step forward for Arbikie as we help them demonstrate how distilleries, and the wider process industries, can use new technologies to create cleaner, sustainable businesses.”

John Stirling, Director at Arbikie Distillery, said:

“We are delighted to see this project moving forward with Locogen and Logan Energy. We aim to be one of the world’s most sustainable distilleries so being able to use green hydrogen power will be another significant step in our sustainability journey.” 

The Arbikie project will comprise a single 1MW wind turbine on Arbikie’s farmland, which will export its generation to a green hydrogen hub via a dedicated private wire. The green hydrogen hub will be based at Arbikie Distillery and comprise an electrolyser, compressor and storage.

Green hydrogen will be created by the electrolyser and a direct pipe will take the stored hydrogen from the storage vessel to the existing plant room. A burner and boiler compatible with burning hydrogen will then be used to create steam which will deliver the heat for distillation.

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