Features

Published on April 2, 2019 | by Alastair Gilmour

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The building heated with wine

The region is world leader in the sustainable energy business

Work has started on a major development in County Durham which aims to be the first of its kind to be powered entirely by renewable wind and solar energy – and heated with wine.

The Lanchester Group – which includes wine merchant Lanchester Wines and contract bottler Greencroft Bottling – has brought plans forward by 12 months to develop a purpose-built, £20m, 220,000 ft2 (20,439m2) wine bottling facility at its site near Stanley. With work set to be completed in 2020, this will be the most modern and environmentally sustainable wine bottling facility in the world, housing new filling lines and increasing capability to 400 million litres per year, from 105 million litres at present.

However, this isn’t your average build project. When complete, the facility will be powered using energy generated by Lanchester Group’s three on-site wind turbines and will be built with 1,000,000 Watts of solar panels which alone will generate 850,000 kWh per year.

It will also be the first business in the world to take heat from the cooling of wine to provide heat for its building, using technology developed by Lanchester Group. And, the first to work with battery manufactures to install an electricity storage capability for times when renewable energy generation does not cover factory energy requirements (when there is no wind or sunlight).

Even the structure itself has been created with sustainability in mind and will incorporate the latest design of modular steel frame building.

Sustainability Initiatives at Greencroft Two
Lanchester Group is working to incorporate a number of leading-edge technologies designed to minimise its impact on the environment and to start conversations about how businesses can pioneer changes within their organisations.

Sustainable Heat Generation
Greencroft Two will incorporate a sparkling wine capability. During this process the wine needs to be chilled – using a heat pump process it’s intended to take heat from the cooling of this wine to provide heat for the building. This has never been attempted before and the Lanchester Group will be the first business to pioneer this approach.

Powered by Renewable Energy
The facility will be powered by wind turbines which feed directly into the on-site substations, with excess sold back to the National Grid – normally, wind turbines feed into the grid and businesses “buy back” power.   

Install approximately 1,000,000 MW of solar panels on the south-facing roof which will generate 850,000 kWh per year

Together, these are sufficient to power the facility, the first of this size not beholden to the National Grid.

Energy Storage
The Lanchester Group is working with battery manufactures to install an energy storage capability for times when renewable energy generation does not cover factory energy requirements (ie, days with no wind). It will be the first business to pioneer this approach

The build
The company will be incorporating the latest design of modular steel frame building which varies the sections of the steel frame, putting strength only where it is needed. This highly efficient method of construction minimises steel requirements and is therefore more environmentally friendly.

Visitor Centre
The new facility will allow visitors to see the energy management systems and the factory operation while not impacting it in any way. This is hoped to be achieved with glass viewing platforms, glass corridors and glass plant room walls where appropriate.

To find out more, please visit www.greencroftbottling.com


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Alastair Gilmour



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