Alamo Beer Co. solar installation doubles as standout art piece

Alamo Beer Co. opened its doors to the public earlier this year and, in a crowded craft beer field these days, needed to standout. To do so, it turned to One80 Solar — a collaboration that yielded an Alamo-shaped solar panel array atop the beer company’s brewery, allowing them to use renewable energy to power their facilities.

alamo brewery solar panels

“We call it Solar Art,” says Patrick Attwater, CEO of One80 Solar. “We’ve taken something that is usually very utility, and turned into a piece of art.” One80 has built a reputation helping organizations use clean, decentralized, renewable energy.

With the help of a rebate program with San Antonio’s CPS Energy the company has a unique opportunity to sell excess power back to their grid. The 5,000 square-foot solar panel design includes 256 U.S. made SolarWorld 250-watt solar modules. This solar art is expected to produce 90,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity per year, and save approximately 30 tons of carbon dioxide emissions in its first ten years of production. The array will pay for itself in four to five years, then resulting in free power from the sun for at least the next 30 years. This makes Alamo Beer Company an industry pioneer, merging innovation with results.

Using solar energy to support the production process is a unique win for both the solar and beer industries.

“We’re committed to producing a quality product: great beer,” says Eugene Simor, CEO of Alamo Beer Company. “Doing so by using a sustainable energy source makes it a win not only for us, but for the entire community.”

By the beginning of August, visitors will be able to interact with an educational kiosk inside the brewery that will monitor and share the amount of solar energy being produced.

“There isn’t another PV array out there that takes on an artistic shape, accented with additional fabricated pieces to help define the image,” says Attwater. The solar array can be seen from numerous buildings in downtown San Antonio, including the Tower of the Americas. The Alamo-shaped design was decided on because it represents the independent spirit of the brewery and honors one of Texas’ most important historical events…and it just so happens to be the company’s logo. This makes the brewery a prime tourist destination for not only beer lovers, but also history buffs, and solar-power enthusiasts.

The brewery includes a beer hall and biergarten located on 1.89 acres next to the notable Hays Street Bridge in downtown San Antonio. The start of brewing production marked their historic return to the Alamo City after 95 years. With the solar array as major energy source, the company anticipates high brewing production in its first five to seven years, making Alamo Beer Company a key player in the revitalization of the East downtown San Antonio. With that much beer, visitors are sure to remember the Alamo.

— Solar Builder magazine

Leave a Reply