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UK government & green bank support £74m Scottish renewables plant

The UK government and the Green Investment Bank plan to invest in a new renewable energy plant in Scotland, which will help power a well-known whisky distillery, Reuters has reported.

The project will cost a total of £74m. The UK Treasury will raise up to £48m from a bond issue, while the Green Investment Bank and asset manager John Laing will each invest around £13m.

The contributions from the bank and John Laing depend on the successful conclusion of the bond process, the Treasury said in a statement.

The Green Investment Bank was created in 2012 by the government to back green energy projects in Britain and to spur private sector investment in the low-carbon energy sector.

The combined heat and power plant in Moray, Scotland, will use biomass to generate around 87 gigawatt hours (GWh) per year of renewable electricity, which is enough to power more than 20,000 homes.

The plant will also produce nearly 77 GWh per year of heat, which will be sold to the nearby Macallan distillery to use in its processes to make Scotch whisky.

Macallan is one of the world’s largest-selling single malt whiskies and is owned by the Edrington Group.

The project, which is being developed by Estover Energy, is expected to be operational in 2016. The biomass used in the plant will be by-products from the local forestry industry.

Scotland votes on independence on Sept. 18 and many businesses have expressed concerns about what currency would be used in an independent Scotland. Financial regulation, taxation, and EU membership are also hot topics.

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