The £65m project at Fife’s Cameronbridge Distillery will use spent wash – a mix of wheat, malted barley, yeast and water – to meet the plant’s energy needs.

It is expected that once up and running the plant will allow the distillery to cut its use of fossil fuels to just 5% of their current levels.

The plant is being built by drinks multinational Diageo in partnership with energy management company Dalkia.

Diageo produces many well-known whisky brands including Johnnie Walker, Bells and Talisker.

The project has attracted the endorsement of the Scottish Parliament, with First Minister Alex Salmond saying: “[This] innovative bioenergy facility adds to the momentum building in Scotland in terms of leading the way in clean, green energy.

“The benefits to Scotland’s environment are quite staggering with the reduction in annual CO2 emissions estimated to be 56,000 tonnes – the equivalent of taking 44,000 family cars off the road.

“No other non-utility company in the UK is believed to have embarked on a renewable project of this scale.

“This investment signals Diageo’s commitment to Scotland’s environment and the Scottish economy with the creation of up to 20 long-term jobs and support for 100 construction jobs over the next three years.”

The new bioenergy plant is due for completion in summer 2010.

The Scottish Government’s Energy Consents Unit is currently processing 30 renewable project applications – 23 wind farms and seven hydro projects, with more applications expected.

Scottish Government targets are to meet 50 per cent of electricity demand from renewables by 2020, and an interim target of 31 per cent by 2011.

Sam Bond

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