Solar Powered Beer
Feb 27, 2006 - Anderson Valley Brewing has completed a project that allows the Booneville, Calif., brewery to generate about 40% of its annual electrical needs.
"We've got solar powered beer going on here," Peter Suddeth, longtime brewery employee, wrote in a press release. "You can drink it and feel good that you're helping to preserve the environment."
The $860,000 state-of-the-art photovoltaic (PV) system includes two arrays; a 175-foot by 53-foot array on the south facing roof of the brewery's cellar and packaging facility, and a separate 120-foot by 24-foot ground-based freestanding array. The 125 kWh system is the largest privately owned PV system north of the San Francisco Bay Area, and among the largest in the western hemisphere.
Ken Allen, Anderson Valley founder and president, said the project underscores the brewery's commitment to keeping its environmental impact as low as possible.
"We feel an obligation, specifically to this pristine valley in which we're located, but to the rest of the world as well, to be responsible with resources. We recycle as much of our waste as we can; paper, plastic, glass, cardboard. We have our own waste water reclamation system, and now we can greatly reduce our reliance on outside electricity," je said via the press release.
"Solar is the future. We're proud to be getting a jump on it."
Allen cited statistics showing that almost 75% of the electricity used in California is generated with nonrenewable resources such as coal, natural gas, and uranium.