Case study - Burn Stewart
01 Dec 2012
Deanston Distillery in Doune, which is part of Burn Stewart
Distillers, combines Scotland's engineering heritage with
industrial reinvention, showing that renewable energy and
sustainability are not new to the Scotch Whisky making process.
Established in 1966, Deanston Distillery, producer of the
hand-crafted Deanston Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky, occupies
a former cotton mill on the banks of the River Teith. It has
achieved the rare status of being self-sufficient in electricity,
with power generated by the on-site hydro-energy facility.
The system, driven by the fast running water of the Teith, was
introduced in the 18th Century to drive the world's first
water-powered spinning frame - an invention by the mill's original
designer, Richard Arkwright. At 36 ft 6 inches in diameter and 11
ft wide, Hercules, one of four colossal waterwheels powering the
mill from 1833, was the largest water wheel in Europe and the
second largest in the world.
The wheels were replaced with two turbines in 1937 which produce
a combined output of 400kW.
By 1965, changes in the world market for cotton forced the
closure of the mill but it was converted for use as a distillery,
reopening nine months later in 1966.
Burn Stewart Distillers bought Deanston in 1990 and committed to
retaining and developing the hydroenergy capacity of the
distillery. The original turbines are still fully functioning.
Modern switchgear equipment was installed but the original 1937
switchgears remain. They may be viewed as part of Deanston's new
Visitor Centre experience charting the social and industrial
history of the site from 1785 to the present day. The two turbines
produce on average 48,000kWh a week. Depending on production
levels, the Distillery uses 10 - 14, 000kWh a week with the surplus
energy being exported to the national grid.
On average, Deanston delivers 1,300,000kWh pa of hydro-generated
electricity to the national grid every year. This is enough energy
to power 394 homes all year, based on average usage.
The hydro-energy project at Deanston Distillery is managed by
the Wemyss Development Company. Burn Stewart Distillers Limited is
a fully integrated Scotch Whisky producer and brand owner with
three single malt whisky distilleries and a strong portfolio of
Scotch Whisky brands.