The Scottish Government has announced that £5.3 million ($6.82 million) will be invested to convert a former bottling plant for Diageo brand Johnnie Walker into a low carbon development.
In a statement on Wednesday, the government said that the site in Kilmarnock would be home to a renewable energy center, affordable homes, an enterprise and innovation hub, and commercial and leisure units.
A brand new geothermal heating system would provide what the government described as “low cost, renewable energy” for the homes.
Geothermal energy is heat which comes from below the surface of the Earth. The U.S. Department of Energy has described it as a “vital, clean energy resource” which is able to supply renewable power continuously while emitting “little or no greenhouse gases.”
Scotland’s Economy Secretary Keith Brown said that as a “responsible, progressive nation,” Scotland needed to show strong leadership on climate change.
“That is why I’m pleased that the Scottish Government will also be able to support our first new geothermal heating system in almost two decades, allowing local residents to access low carbon energy at an affordable price,” he added.
According to the Scottish government, there are more than 58,000 jobs in the low carbon and renewable energy economy in Scotland, spread across nine renewable energy sectors. Onshore wind is the largest single sector.
The government adds that renewables are the “single largest contributor to electricity generation in Scotland.”