Another large undertaking was in the courtyard, heart of the distillery. It’s never been hard to miss the courtyard and its wall of aqua lettering; now it’s looking even better. New lighting installed around the courtyard comes on automatically when it gets dark and switch off again during the day. Another energy saving triumph.
Within a Victorian distillery, retro-fitting new energy solutions isn’t easy. Workarounds have to be found. In 2011, the team designed an ingenious heat recovery system. The hot water from the stills’ condensers goes back to boiler feed tank, which keeps the boiler reservoir at 80-100ºC, while excess is passed over to the heating system for the visitor centre and offices above. Free heat. The downside being when production shuts down so does the heating.
The Harvey bottling hall and The Botanist drying room are newly heated by air source heat pumps. An “air to air” system, this takes the outside air through a heat exchange and vents into the buildings. The 14kw pump uses much less electricity than conventional heating methods – producing between 3 and 4 kw of heat for every 1 kw it draws. Another will be installed in the workshop refit.
The distillery is beginning the initial phase of an energy feasibility study with external consultants to look ahead at what unique possibilities there may be within the distillery and the wider community. And with newer projects on the horizon, such as the maltings, this is an exciting opportunity to make the buildings and process as green as possible from the off.
>> If you want to hear more about the future energy plans for the distillery you can catch up with Allan Logan and Christy McFarlane on their Instagram TV chat earlier this year. The pair talk over future renewable possibilities and how a high energy usage hotspot on Islay by distilleries is an Islay-wide energy opportunity.
>> Read more on hydrogen power and Islay’s energy infrastructure future
>> More about our sustainable commitments and future plans.
Thank you to Ashley Harrison for following Scott round the not-so-dark warehouses for the images.