Helius CoRDe CHP plant opens in Scotland, earns RO accreditation

By Erin Voegele | April 23, 2013

Helius Energy plc has announced that the Helius CoRDe Ltd. in Rothes, Scotland, is being accredited as a combined-heat-and-power (CHP) plant under the Renewables Obligation. As such, the facility can receive renewables obligation credits (ROCs) under the RO.

The 8.32 MW facility takes in byproducts of nearby malt whisky distilleries as feedstock, producing both power and pot ale syrup, an animal feed protein supplement.  According to archived information published by Helius, the facility is designed to burn wood and draff or brewers grain, which is solid residue from the whiskey process. In addition to producing power, steam will be used to evaporate liquid residues into the pot ale syrup. The pot ale evaporator plant has the capacity of 66.5 metric tons per hour.

The project is owned and operated by a joint venture formed by Helius Energy, Rabo Project Equity BV and the Combination of Rothes Distillers Ltd., which is itself a joint venture of Ben Riach Distillery Co. Ltd. Chivas Brothers Ltd., The Edrington Group, Glen Grant Distillery Co Ltd., Inverhouse Distillers, Diageo and John Dewar & Son. Construction of the £60.5 million ($92.44 million) facility began in 2011.

Prince Charles, known as The Duke of Rothesay in Scotland, was on hand to open the biomass CHP facility on April 16. “It was a pleasure to welcome [His Royal Highness] The Duke of Rothesay to Speyside today and to show him the level of commitment and investment in the Scotch Whisky industry,” said Gavin Hewitt, chief executive of the Scotch Whisky Association in a statement. "Helius CoRDe is a ground breaking venture and a prime example of working in collaboration with local industry to secure sustainability. It will benefit the environment and farmers who can access its animal feed for their livestock. It is another step on the way to the Scotch Whisky industry meeting the ambitious targets laid out in its Environmental Strategy - the first industry-wide strategy of its kind in Scotland.”

"I am delighted that the Helius CoRDe plant at Rothes has achieved ROC accreditation to coincide with its opening by HRH The Prince of Wales,” said Adrian Bowles, Helius CEO. “This is renewable energy in action using innovative technology to provide enough power for 9,000 homes and produce animal feed using by-products from local whisky distilleries. Projects like these will increasingly form part of the UK energy mix."