Craigellachie Biomass Plant

Low carbon energy tackles climate change

Location map, Moray

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The Combined Heat and Power (CHP) plant near Craigellachie, Moray provides heat in the form of steam for the nearby Macallan whisky distillery and electricity to the national grid.

Generating up to 15MWe of electricity the plant produces enough renewable energy to power 20,000 homes and when the 10MWth of heat supplied to the distillery, and the natural gas this displaces is taken into account, it represents a carbon saving equivalent to 42,000 tonnes of CO2 per annum equivalent to taking 18,000 cars off the road.

The plant is fuelled with sustainable low-grade wood harvested from regional forestry operations.  This has a number of local benefits including providing an additional market for low-grade wood, helping local forestry growers by supporting the production of higher-grade wood which in turn makes local forestry and woodland management more economic as well as supporting jobs in the supply chain.

£60 million investment

Work began on the plant in October 2014 and was substantially completed in 2016. During construction at its peak the site employed over 120 contractors and represented a £60 million inward investment in the area. The life of the plant is 25–40 years.

Construction was managed by StandardKessel Gmbh on contract to Speyside Renewable Energy Partnership Ltd. and the plant is operated and maintained by BSWC. Funding was provided by Speyside Renewable Energy Partnership’s shareholders as well £48m in bonds guaranteed by the Infrastructure and Projects Authority, part of HM Treasury.

Local scale biomass plants like this one are good sources of low carbon energy with benefits extending well beyond the local sphere.  They can help tackle climate change by reducing CO2 emissions.   By using locally sourced and sustainable wood fuel they reduce our reliance on imported fossil fuels and create a more secure energy supply.