Wind-powered Whisky Distillery Set to Be Built in Scotland

Earlier this week, councillors approved plans for a wind-powered whisky distillery and visitor centre in Turriff, Aberdeenshire. Members of the Banff and Buchan committee gave the ambitious project the green light on November 23, following Wilson Strachan of Balmaud Distillery Company’s application for planning permission for the development at Yonderton Farm. According to project architects Mantell Ritchie, Mr. Mrachan and his family have been looking to invest in a whisky distillery for many years.

The Proposed Distillery

Existing buildings at Yonderton Farm will be converted and extended to form the distillery, alongside an educational visitor centre which is set to be built on adjoining land. Notably, the old Yonderton Bungalow currently located on the visitor centre site will be demolished.

Under Wilson Strachan’s vision, both buildings will be powered by wind turbines that are already on the farm.

The visitor centre will feature a café space, bar and tasting rooms that will be open to the public, whilst tours will be on offer to give guests the chance to get a behind the scenes look at the distillery.

Initial Reservations

Before the plans for the distillery were approved, councillor Glen Reynolds expressed some reservations that there were still “outstanding questions” that needed to be addressed. Nonetheless, he claimed that he was “happy” to grant the approval. He added: “It’s not an ideal situation but I wouldn’t want to halt the process. It’s a delight to see an application like this come forward with real prospects of socio-economic development.”

Meanwhile, councillor Michael Roy wanted to defer the application for more outstanding issues, including how effluent water will be dealt with. His amendment received no support, so the application was approved by the committee.

Boosting the Local Economy

The proposed development will contribute to the local economy in two ways: via tourism and employment opportunities. In fact, it is anticipated that the distillery could create up to ten new jobs in the local area.

In the words of the council: “The aim of the proposed development is to create a whisky distillery and malting plant at Yonderton Farm which will contribute to the local economy through employment opportunities and bringing tourists into the area.”

The Whisky Industry & Sustainability

Plans for this new wind-powered whisky distillery are unsurprising given the steps that the whisky industry has been taking towards sustainability in recent times. The entire industry came together to launch its new Sustainability Strategy earlier this year, an ambitious plan to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2040.