Situated, as we are, on a sunny south-facing hillside with a river running past and the wind buffeting us, it would be a wasted opportunity not to be renewable energy-powered.
The distillery sits on farmland owned by John Mckenzie, the founder and managing director of GlenWvyis. The land has been leased for 175 years to the distillery for a fee of £1.
The farm has previously invested a huge amount in renewable energy systems. Today, GlenWyvis benefits from all of these in exchange for draff for the cattle. The two businesses share maintenance costs. In addition, GlenWyvis has its own biomass boiler to provide steam for the stills.
Here are the details our green credentials:
There are three different solar PV panel sections; two on the roof of the cattle shed and one on the ground. Together they produce 40kW.
In addition, on the roof of the building, which is currently home to the GlenWyvis office, is a 3kW solar thermal panel.
A 12kW hydro dam sits at confluence of Tulloch Spring and the Dochcarty Burn (which is fed by the River Skiach). The hydro dam was installed on the farm in 2010 and today the distillery benefits from the energy generated.
The GlenWyvis office currently gets its heat thanks to the farm. A 30kW log biomass boiler in the farm building is linked to the solar thermal panels. Front facing solar gain in that building means the boiler is not on between April and October. Hot water comes from the solar thermal and the farm's borehole.
The steam to heat the stills is provided by the distillery's own 500kW biomass boiler, which is powered by woodchip. We will use approximately 480kg of biomass per mash.
An 11kW Gaia wind turbine produces green electricity in light & strong winds due to its large blades. All electricity from wind, hydro & solar is fed into the farm power station where its mixed & metered before going to the distillery where it's needed.
The draff, byproduct from the mash tun, is used to feed the cattle on the farm.
Our GlenWyvis company car is an EREV (extended range electric vehicle) that is charged on site and does 50 miles on electric energy. It rarely needs to use the small engine which provides power to the generator and create more energy for the electric motors driving the wheels.
We are investigating more battery storage to further improve our green credentials.
Total power generated 597 KW
Total currently returned to the grid 86%
As we increase production the amount of electricity exported will reduce but we will remain 100% green.
Other environmentally-friendly policies
The draff, by product from the mash tun, is used to feed the cattle on the farm.
Our GlenWyvis company car is an EREV (extended range electric vehicle) that is charged on site and does 50 miles on electric energy. It rarely needs to use the small engine which provides power to the generator.
We are looking at more battery storage as well as a new electric seven-seater in early 2018 to be used for visitor transport.
We have a dedicated water borehole.
The economics from our green energy study
- Total water savings from local resources for initial business operation: £6,020 rising to a maximum of almost £24,000 at maximum production
- Value of all onsite generated renewable energy that can be supplied to the distillery: £16,000 (although only £2,400 worth is expected to be used for operation of the distillery the first year of operation at 38,400lpa)
- Total value of resources to the distillery in year 1: £8,420
- Maximum value of resources to the business: £40,020
Full details of our renewable energy policy will be available in the spring of 2018 – once the distillery is on full production.
A quick reminder that applications for the Business Development Job will close on Friday 1st December 2017.
Even the sky isn't the limit for GlenWyvis.
We've had a very busy week with helicopter flights for investors, film crews hanging out with us, events - oh, and checking the whisky stills work!
As we creep ever closer to our next share offer target of £500,000, we've been keeping up momentum.
We treated some of our biggest investors to GlenWyvis whisky history tours of the local area in a helicopter - including Stefan, who came all the way from Germany.
To a woman, the feedback was positive. Check out all the pictures and messages on our Facebook page. Our competition winner Gillian Smith had an absolute ball: “Just wanted to say a huge thank you for the brilliant helicopter trip this morning. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and hope to visit GlenWyvis soon,” she emailed us.
In between soaring over the distillery, we've been filming on the ground, for some case studies for two of the organisations who have supported GlenWyvis: Plunkett Foundation and Cooperatives UK.
Finally, this weekend we were at the gorgeous Castle Hotel to join in the Dornoch Whisky festival.
It was a great crowd, real whisky connoisseurs and lots of investors too. It was our new Marketing and Tourism Strategy Officer Michael Fraser's first event, so it was a brilliant chance for him to meet some of the community.
Finally, and let's face it, most importantly, on Friday we commissioned the 500kW wood chip biomass boiler, which provides the steam for the stills. It was a tense moment but everything worked exactly as it should. Phew! Great job by our construction team! We couldn't distil any spirit as we have no malt barley, yeast or licence yet - but we're getting closer!
We have our first Christmas events in the coming days, so we'll have loads more news for you soon - and don't forget the AGM is at 2pm on 30th November.