A consortium of Helius Energy Plc (Helius) and Rothes Distillers Ltd (Rothes) has received planning permission from Scottish authorities to build a biomass-fuelled combined heat and power plant (CHP) in Speyside. The GreenSwitch plant will use distillery by-products and wood chips to generate 7.2 megawatt (MW) of power, enough for 9,000 homes. The plant would require an investment of GBP35 million. Construction will start in the third quarter of 2009 and will be completed within 18 to 24 months.

The plant is located about 60 km east of Inverness in northeast Scotland.

Electricity generated might be fed into the National Grid.

Not only will it generate renewable heat and power, but it secures additional markets for our distillery co-products, Frank Burns, general manager of the Combination of Rothes, said.

Distillery by-products draff and pot ale will be used in the plant.

As part of the project, the plan is to turn pot ale into concentrated organic fertiliser for local farmers.