Combination of sun and beer creates? Answer: solar power

Brewer MillerCoors said Jan. 29 that it has completed a 3.2-MW solar panel installation at its Irwindale, Calif., brewery.

The new solar array is the largest installed at any brewery in the U.S. and will significantly increase the brewery’s energy independence, the company 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,” said Tom Long, MillerCoors CEO. “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.”

With more than 10,000 solar panels installed across 10 acres of the brewery grounds, the MillerCoors solar array will produce enough energy to brew more than 7 million cases of beer annually. MillerCoors worked with SolarCity on the project. The brewery also creates biogas from wastewater to power two General Electric Jenbacher engines.

“Leveraging solar power helps ensure that we can continue brewing beer in California for years to come,” said Ben Maillette, MillerCoors Irwindale Brewery Vice President. “MillerCoors has been a strong supporter of the San Gabriel Valley community for more than 50 years, and this project is the latest way we’re alleviating some of the environmental issues facing the region.”

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.