ForeFront Power, a solar and energy storage solutions developer based in San Francisco, is partnering with Anheuser-Busch to develop solar energy systems at eight breweries in its craft business unit, Brewers Collective. ForeFront Power has completed solar energy installations at Goose Island Beer Co. in Chicago, Blue Point Brewing Co. in Patchogue, N.Y., Virtue Cider in Fennville, Mich., Breckenridge Brewery in Littleton, Colo., Devils Backbone Brewing Co. in Lexington, Va., Four Peaks Brewing Co., in Tempe, Ariz., Karbach Brewing Co. in Houston, and 10 Barrel Brewing Co. in Bend, Ore. Combined, these solar energy systems total 2.4 MWdc and will help Anheuser-Busch avoid over 2 million pounds of carbon dioxide per year.
“Many craft breweries are more than production facilities; they are now major tourist destinations and community hubs,” said Michael Smith, CEO of ForeFront Power. “On-site solar generation can not only substantially reduce utility costs, but also serve as a tangible demonstration of a brewery’s environmental stewardship and commitment to taking climate action. We applaud Anheuser-Busch for its clean energy leadership in the beverage sector, and it has been so rewarding for our team to help breweries across the US achieve their sustainability goals.”
Anheuser-Busch launched its RE100 campaign in 2017, committing to purchase electricity only from renewable sources by 2025. The move made it the world’s largest brewer with the commitment to 100% renewable energy. Two years later, the company signed the 7th-largest corporate power purchase agreement (PPA) to date, a 15-year contract for the entirety of the electricity generated by Recurrent’s 222 MWac Maplewood 1 solar project, located in Pecos County, Texas. When the plant came online in 2021, the entirety of Anheuser Busch’s portfolio of beers were brewed with 100% renewable electricity.
While Anheuser-Busch achieved its goal four years early, it continues on its path to sustainability with installations at its craft breweries. The Goose Island 377 kW-DC rooftop solar array sits atop Goose Island’s Barrel House, a 139,000 square foot brewing facility and event space that is home to over 15,000 barrels, all within a historic Art Deco brick warehouse. The electricity generated annually will help Goose Island avoid 750,000 pounds of carbon dioxide a year, or approximately the amount of carbon sequestered by 420 acres of forest in one year.
“The ForeFront Power team helped make going solar a turnkey process, and we are pleased with our system’s performance, the utility savings it provides, and its positive contribution to our region’s climate goals. Goose Island is proof that if solar can work in the Windy City, it can work anywhere,” said Todd Ahsmann, president of Goose Island Beer Co.
At Long Island’s Blue Point Brewing Co., the 217 kW-DC rooftop solar array marks an important milestone in Blue Point Brewing’s decades-long sustainability program. The solar project will generate over 285,000 kWh of electricity annually, the equivalent of 247 acres of US forestry conserved.
“Blue Point is surrounded by water and has always focused our sustainability efforts on protecting our waterways,” said Nick Rosenberg, Blue Point’s environmental safety manager. “Becoming a solar brewery was the logical next step to fight climate change and lower our utility bills at the same time. We are thankful for ForeFront Power’s expert guidance through every phase of the project, from permitting, to installation, to construction and energization.”
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