Kentucky co-ops and a global distiller are taking the order “Whiskey, neat” to a new level.
Inter-County Energy Cooperative, headquartered in Danville, Kentucky, recently announced arrangements with international beverage-maker Diageo to power the company’s new 72,000-square-foot distillery, dry house and warehousing facilities in Lebanon with 100% renewable energy.
Winchester-based G&T East Kentucky Power Cooperative has also entered power purchase agreements with the company to deliver renewable energy to the $130 million distillery, which will produce up to 10 million proof gallons of American whiskey, including Bulleit bourbon, a year.
In addition, Diageo will lease panels from Cooperative Solar Farm One, which is owned by Inter-County Energy and 15 other Kentucky electric cooperatives and run by EKPC.
Diageo expects to complete construction of the distillery and begin production in 2021.
“Inter-County Energy is proud to work in partnership with Diageo and East Kentucky Power Cooperative to understand the energy needs of this facility and to develop innovative ways to meet the sustainability goals of one of the largest renewable energy consumers in Kentucky,” said Jerry Carter, president and CEO of Inter-County Energy.
The Diageo Lebanon Distillery is expected to be one of the largest carbon neutral distilleries in North America, according to the company, whose portfolio contains more than 200 brands, including Johnnie Walker, Crown Royal and Guinness. Among its innovations will be electrode boilers and an onsite fleet of only electric vehicles, including forklifts, Diageo said.
Cathy Cash is a staff writer at NRECA.