The largest solar power installation at an American Brewery has been completed. 3.2 megawatts is the capacity of the new solar power system at a MillerCoors plant in Irwindale, California. The 10,000-panel solar power system will provide enough electricity to brew about 7 million cases of beer each year.
MillerCoors CEO Tom Long said,”From heating our kettles to the packaging process, we rely on energy to brew our quality beers. Simply put, without energy there is no beer. But we are acutely aware of the energy stress on this community, so we are doing our share – plus some – to decrease usage by installing this solar array. This step toward brewing more sustainably makes us a better brewer and a better neighbor to the residents of Los Angeles County.”
Miller High Life, Miller Genuine Draft, Coors, Coors Light, Molson Canadian, and Miller Lite are some of the beers made by MillerCoors, which is a joint venture between Molson Coors Brewing and SABMiller.
The product and company-related information is worth mentioning, because the beers are very recognizable and the company is a major American brewer. American businesses are starting to invest in solar power and other renewables because they are economically sound. The perception of solar power in the past may have been that it was mainly “enviros” or “hippies” that got solar panels for their houses. That is clearly not the case now.
The motivation is clear — saving money on electricity bills. A solar power system can save enough that it can pay itself off in a handful of years, or even just a couple. After that point, it can be used for many years to greatly reduce electricity bills.
MillerCoors is using the Irwindale system partly for that reason, and in particular to reduce reliance on electricity from the local utility at times of peak demand when prices are highest. Of course, solar power is better for the environment and human health because it doesn’t produce toxic air pollution.
Image Credit: LBL