The Other Benefits of Switching to Solar Power

In May of this year, Ithaca Beer made the decision to offset more than 25 percent of their power to solar. It’s a growing trend.

“Using solar power falls in line with our core beliefs as a company,” said Ithaca Beer’s President, Dan Mitchell, in a release about how the brewery partnered with Renovus Solar to install a 200kW array on the roof of their facility located on Ithaca’s West End. “We always strive to be more sustainable, growing food for our taproom and using local products whenever possible. These are things we believe in.”

Last year, Rock Art Brewery unveiled Vermont’s first solar-powered beer, Sun Rocked IPA, as a toast to the 20-year-old brewery reaching the milestone of going solar.

The decision to go solar was very easy for Denver Beer as well this year. Co-founder Patrick Crawford noted that Denver has 300 days of sunshine and with the brewery having a huge roof.

“From an environmental perspective, it makes a lot of sense to harness natural energy,” he said.

And from a financial perspective, the project made a lot of sense as well as Crawford said the cash return will be less than five years.

Art Rock co-founder Matt Nadeau feels that craft beer consumers, especially the locals to the brewery, want to know all about the products they are enjoying.

“They want to know the businesses they choose to support and also support that community,” he said. “They know us, they know what we stand for and now they know that we are using the sun for our electricity. We are doing what we can when we can. We are fortunate to be successful in our 20 years as a brewery and we can take steps that we want to fulfill our life goals.”

From a marketing perspective, Crawford thinks some people may want to buy Denver Beer’s brands knowing they don’t burn coal in order to produce it.

“Our sustainability efforts are now a big part of our brand story, and it’s a story we are excited to share,” he said. “Corporate America has a lot of power to lead by good example. I wish more businesses would make this type of investment. We could power a significant portion of our country with solar power and all breathe a little cleaner air.  Not to mention work to combat climate change.”

Added Matt Riggs of Riggs Beer in a recent interview with Brewer: “For someone to say they can’t go solar, what that says to me is that it’s not a high enough priority for your company,” he said. The brewery finished the month of March, 2018, fully on solar power, with some power to spare.

“Solar is extremely competitive right now when it comes to price point of the system and payback period or the impact on your cash flow.”

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