ENERGY expert Adam Black will be the toast of his colleagues if he succeeds in his ambitious aims.
Lanchester Group – the County Durham-based wine and drinks production and bottling company – has appointed Adam to head its new energy division in pursuit of its goal to be carbon-negative and the world’s greenest liquor company.
Already, the temperature at its Annfield Plain offices is modulated by a heat pump, while solar panels also contribute. Now two wind turbines are being installed nearby.
In charge of the new Lanchester Energy Company is managing director Adam, from Stocksfield in Northumberland.
“I always wanted to be involved in alternative energy and I had pretty much done as much as possible on my own house, “ said the graduate in agriculture and business management at Newcastle University. “I had put in solar, a heat pump, and a small wind turbine and decided to start my own energy company. Then Tony and Veronica Cleary, the owners of Lanchester Wines, suggested I start a new company within the Lanchester Group.”
Adam anticipates the site’s new turbines will generate significant surplus power that can then be used to produce hydrogen and synthetic diesel for use in the company’s forklifts and other vehicles.
The company is spending about £2.8m on its first two turbines and is planning a third. To ready the site for the first 50-metre turbine, it was necessary to tackle issues that arose when ground investigation uncovered a number of old mine workings.
“It seemed like a case of ‘old energy’ getting the last laugh,” said Adam, who is looking for other locations where the firm can install smaller, quieter turbines.
“I am a huge fan of modest-size turbines on industrial estates. My philosophy is to develop energy where it is actually used and avoid the environmental impact of big turbines sited in the wrong place,” he said. “I am very keen on the very modern designs of turbine.”
Meanwhile, at the Annfield Plain site, Adam has installed electric vehicle charging points, to make use of the site’s own generators, while the company is also bringing in its first Tetra Pak wine-filling line. Group MD Tony Cleary said that will allow more efficient use of the company’s trucks, while Tetra Pak packs themselves are more energy-efficient than glass bottles. “Our goal is to be the greenest liquor company in the world and this should be a reality in early 2013,” said Tony, who started the company in the front room of his Lanchester home, 33 years ago.