By the end of September the Sierra Nevada Brewery will be almost entirely self-sufficient. Currently the brewery is in the process of “going green,” focusing on sustainability.
As of now, the brewery has four fuel cells operating 70 to 75 percent of the facility’s power, Sustainability Coordinator Cheri Chastain said.
The brewery has spent the summer adding solar panels, which will be entirely functional in just a few weeks.
With the added solar panels the brewery will be approaching 100 percent self-sufficiency. After the panels’ installation the plan is to add additional solar panels in order to be completely self-sufficient when the sun is up, during peak hours, Chastain said.
When the panels are finally up & running, the brewery will be 100 percent self-sufficient during peak hours and approximately 80 percent efficient during off-peak hours, at night or on cloudy days.
The brewery sees the addition of the solar panels as just another step in its on-going mission for a completely sustainable, eco-friendly brewery. Besides the new solar panels and the currently installed fuel cells, the brewery already focuses on recycling, heat recovery, carbon dioxide recovery, water conservation, energy efficient operations and byproduct recycling.
We are very progressive,” Chastain said.