Work has started on what will become the world’s most sustainable wine bottling facility, powered entirely by renewable wind and solar power – and heated with wine – Greencroft Two.

The Lanchester Group – which includes wine merchant Lanchester Wines and contract bottler, Greencroft Bottling – has brought forward by 12 months plans to develop a purpose built £20million, 220,000 ft2 (20,439m2) bottling facility at our site in County Durham, UK.

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 200 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 (ie, 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.

The Lanchester Group is a pioneer in renewable energy and heat generation (read more here). To date, sustainability practices at the Greencroft Estate have:

  • saved close to 11,750 tonnes of Carbon
  • generated enough clean energy to power 60,200 houses

Tony Cleary is Managing Director of the Lanchester Group: “We believe being Carbon Neutral is just the beginning – even with this additional facility, the group will continue to produce more clean renewable energy than we use which we believe makes us carbon minus.

“As a business, we continue to make choices about our long-term sustainability which go above and beyond both legislation and common practice. Our aspiration is to become a thought leader and sharer of best practice. As a privately owned, family business we are in a largely unique position which enable us to experiment and take risks in order to find new solutions, and we want others to emulate our successes – we believe what is good for the environment is good for us all.”

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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 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 we intend to take heat from the cooling of this wine to provide heat for the building. This has never been attempted before we will be the first business to pioneer this approach


  • Powered by Renewable Energy

Our facility will be powered by our wind turbines which feed directly into our on-site substations, with excess sold back to the National Grid – usually 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 our facility. This will be the first facility of this size not beholden to the National Grid.

  • Energy Storage

We are 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). We will be the first business to pioneer this approach


  • The build

We 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

Our new facility will allow visitors to see the energy management systems and the factory operation while not impacting it in any way. We hope to achieve this with glass viewing platforms, glass corridors and glass plant room walls where appropriate.


The Site

The good news is we’re not moving far – in fact, we’re staying within our Greencroft Estate and utilising land we already own. The video below shows where we’ve started clearing ground and developing foundations, close to our wind turbines. To the left you’ll see our truck park and in the background is Lanchester Wines and our current site. We’ll keep you updated with the build as it progresses

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