The Arbikie Highland Estate Distillery near Montrose is one step closer to becoming net zero thanks to £3 million of government funding granted to UK renewables company Locogen in partnership with hydrogen technologies specialist Logan Energy.
The Phase 2 funding comes from the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy’s (BEIS) Net Zero Innovation Portfolio through its Green Distilleries Competition. This will see the duo work with Arbikie to install an onsite wind turbine and electrolyser that will generate green hydrogen – replacing the polluting oil currently used by the distillery to raise steam for the distillation process.
The Green Distilleries Competition aims to help distilleries cut CO2 emissions by one million tonnes, contributing to Scotland’s and the UK’s national target to be carbon neutral by 2045 and 2050 respectively, with each distillery deploying innovative green solutions in order to achieve these ambitious goals.
Burning hydrogen does not release any carbon emissions and therefore the Arbikie project represents a clean fuel alternative to current practices. The project will showcase the technical feasibility of using hydrogen as an alternative fuel in distillation and other process heat applications and will have enormous replicability across industry whilst acting as a catalyst for creating green hydrogen opportunities in the wider Angus area.
Andy Lyle, CEO of Locogen, said: “This is a fantastic result for Arbikie and presents a great opportunity to demonstrate how distilleries, and the wider process industries, can use new technologies to create cleaner, sustainable businesses.”
Bill Ireland, CEO of Logan Energy, said: “With the demand to switch to net zero technologies greater than ever, this project is a further example of the innovative ways hydrogen can meet the energy-solution challenges, like commercial heating, faced around the world – starting at home with one of Scotland’s most renowned exports.”
Iain Stirling, Director at Arbikie Distillery, said: “We are delighted to have won through to Phase 2 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 sustainable journey.”
The Arbikie project will comprise a single 1MW wind turbine on Arbikie’s farmland, which will export the electricity generated 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.
This will replace gas oil that is currently used to raise steam at the distillery.