Author: Sophie Vorrath

Source: onestepoffthegrid.com.au

An inner Melbourne craft brewery will soon be powered by rooftop solar, with the installation of just under 100kW of PV panels set for competition at the end of February.

Local business Beon Energy Solutions said on Thursday that it was installing a 96.3kW solar system at Collingwood brewery, Stomping Ground Brewing Co, that – once completed – would generate enough power to supply 20 homes, covering the small business’s sizeable energy needs.

The project was guided by the Yarra Energy Foundation (YEF), an independent Melbourne organisation that helps households, businesses, community groups and governments make the transition to solar.

Renewable powered beer is becoming an increasingly common phenomenon, both in Australia and overseas, both for major international brewers and small, local, boutique concerns.

Just last year, Carlsberg, in Sweden, launched its first carbon neutral brewery powered 100 per cent by biogas. And in August, Anheuser Busch InBev, which owns Australia’s iconic Fosters brand, pledged to shift its 6 terrawatt-hours of annual energy consumption to 100 per cent renewables by 2025.

On the smaller scale, Sydney craft brewery Young Henry’s used a community-funding model to install solar on its Newtown establishment, raising a total of $17,500 in just nine minutes in August 2016 towards a 29.9kW solar array.

And in Victoria, the Bright Brewery, located in the country town of the same name, was expected to save around $18,000 a year through the installation of 50kW solar system to supply all of its electricity needs.

Guy Greenstone, Director at Stomping Ground in Collingwood, said installing solar was not just about saving money on electricity, but a significant step towards achieving the company’s sustainability goals.

“At Stomping Ground, we already use a rainwater irrigation system, recycle our spent grain,
use biodegradable eco straws and have our wine delivered direct into barrels so installing a solar system is another big step towards becoming as sustainable and environmentally-friendly as possible.

“It also helps that this will reduce our energy costs as running a brewery is a very energy intensive operation,” Greenstone said.