Nearly everyone enjoys a good beer now and again. A delicious beer sustainably brewed with renewable energy that pours down from the sun might make that happy hour indulgence even more enjoyable.
Kyocera Solar Inc. announced today that Sundance Power Systems Inc. has installed 650 kWdc of high-quality Kyocera solar modules on Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.’s new Mills River, North Carolina, brewery. The modules will help power the brewery’s energy-intensive processes, making Sierra Nevada beers brewed there arguably among the most environmentally friendly adult beverages available. A video of the rooftop array can be seen at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fWjJsbNo7Ws
“Kyocera has been a leader in the solar industry for nearly four decades, and is committed to helping commercial enterprises operate in a sustainable fashion,” said Steve Hill, president of Kyocera Solar Inc. “We ‘raise our glass’ to Sierra Nevada for utilizing the abundant power of the sun to brew its delicious beers, and stand ready to assist other companies in following these sustainable footsteps.”
With roots in Northern California, Sierra Nevada takes the mantra “reduce, reuse, recycle” seriously, and is committed to operating an environmentally sustainable enterprise. The 2,030 Kyocera KD320 photovoltaic (PV) solar modules atop the new brewery’s packaging center and warehouse exemplify this philosophy.
“Integrating renewable energy into our Mills River facility was an important part of our project design,” said Cheri Chastain, sustainability manager at Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. “Sundance Power Systems designed and installed our 650kW Kyocera solar system, which covers nearly two acres on our roof. We are looking forward to enjoying many years of renewable energy from this system.”
Over a year, the Kyocera PV modules are estimated to offset 588 metric tons of CO2, a carbon impact equal to removing 124 cars from the road according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Kyocera has powered the market’s most demanding solar applications for four decades — from residential rooftops to utility-scale PV plants ranking among the world’s largest. Craft brewers now see solar as a step toward economic independence as well as sustainability and simpler living. Other brewers using Kyocera modules include Central Waters Brewing Co. of Amherst, Wisc., and Pizza Port Brewing Co. of Carlsbad, Calif.
Sierra Nevada will host its first public event for its Mills River brewery on Sunday, August 3, 2014, from 1-6pm, when the company’s Beer Camp Across America, a seven-city touring festival, makes its grand finale in North Carolina. With more than 110 regional craft breweries pouring, attendees will sample artisanal varieties while enjoying live music and — like the Kyocera solar panels on the roof — soaking up the summer sun.
— Solar Builder magazine