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WV Distillery Demonstrates Environmental Commitment by Conducting and Energy Assessment


Smooth Ambler, located in Maxwelton, West Virginia, is a distillery producing gin, vodka, white whiskey and bourbon. Using local grain and water, the changing local seasons for mellow aging, and creative management, Smooth Ambler is a growing business looking to expand and employ a larger population of workers.

The Challenge

Smooth Ambler was seeking support to evaluate the energy efficiency of operations to determine opportunities for improvement from both a cost and process perspective. They turned to the WVU Industrial Extension, part of the MEP National Network™.
The working relationship we have with the WVU Industrial Extension has been a tremendous help to our organization.  As we work on organizational improvements, engaging with WVU's Industrial Extension team and the Industrial Assessment Center has been extremely helpful for us to identify and focus on areas that have the greatest potential for positive financial impact and environmental improvements.  The assessment was completed quickly and an extensive report was provided giving us detail that we can work through at a schedule that works for us. 
— Travis Hammond, Operations Manager

MEP's Role

WVU Industrial Extension utilized WVU's Industrial Assessment Center (IAC) to conduct an energy assessment funded by the US Department of Energy through the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. The IAC team conducted a one-day on-site visit to Smooth Ambler to interview operational personnel, evaluate operations, gather data, and develop ideas for improvement.  

The assessment included a 94-page customized report including specific information related to energy consumption and costs including electricity, natural gas, propane, and waste disposal using a process map for key operations. Ten recommendations were provided including the installation of evaporators for effluent waste minimization, carbon dioxide recovery systems for the fermentation process, and installation of a variable speed drive on a chiller compressor which were 3 of the biggest opportunities for savings. Each recommendation included a summary of the activity, units of energy consumed, cost for implementation, potential savings and payback in months.
Created May 22, 2022