Sun shines on beer production

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St Austell Brewery has installed hundreds more solar panels with the aim of using as much renewable energy as possible to fuel its beer production.

The installation, at Hare Brewery near Bristol, which is owned by St Austell Brewery, will now be able to generate an additional 230,511kWh electricity per year. This added to the energy the existing solar panels at the site generate is the equivalent of powering around 150 homes.

The new solar array which takes up the entire roof space of the brewery’s distribution centre in Warmley was installed by Liskeard-based solar specialist, ZLC Energy Limited.

ZLC is also responsible for the solar arrays at St Austell Brewery’s head office and Cornwall Distribution Centre in St Columb, as well as the 892 solar panels previously installed on Hare Brewery.

The 608 new solar panels add to St Austell Brewery’s efforts to champion sustainability and reach its net zero goals.

During the summer months, Hare Brewery is expected to be able to brew its beer and operate on the energy the panels produce, with the system designed so that almost 100% of the generated power will be consumed on site. In the winter the site will draw a minimal amount of electric from the grid.

It’s estimated that the arrays will save a huge 50,000kg of CO2 per year – which equates to 85.5 passengers’ roundtrip flights to Munich.

Elle Sambrook, St Austell Brewery’s head of sustainability, said: “This is a really big step towards our net zero plans to eliminate our avoidable emissions.

“We set ourselves an additional goal to increase our on-site green energy and reach 50% energy consumption from renewables across all sites by 2030. These solar panels are a big part of making that goal a reality and we are already at 40% onsite generation at Hare Brewery with this installation.”