Grand Rapids, MI-based Brewery Vivant recently installed a 54 kilowatt solar system atop its brewing facility and The Chapel, its pub. The 192 panel system installed earlier this month is expected to produce 20 percent of the facility’s energy needs. The brewery is sourcing the rest of its energy from Consumers Power’s Green Generations Program. The company is celebrating the new solar array with an official toast and ribbon cutting ceremony being attended by Grand Rapid’s mayor and other city officials on July 19.
When the brewery opened in 2010 the owners had hoped generate 10 percent of its energy from onsite sources. The new installation, which was completed earlier in July through a partnership with the Green Brewery Project and Renovo Energy, produces double that.
The installation was made as part of a brewery expansion, which expanded its annual capacity from 5,000 barrels to 9,000 barrels. “It has been a process,” said Vivant Brewery’s Owner & Sustainability Director, Kris Spaulding. “With this most recent expansion, we felt ready and more able to invest in solar.”
“We make craft beer [and from-scratch cooking], but we also want to make a positive impact on our community,” Spaulding added. In addition to going solar, Brewing Vivant engages with the community by sourcing their beef from a local Michigan farm and partnering with Kids Food Basket and a neighboring Elementary school to support the Sack Suppers Program.
From East to West, and of course the Midwest; beer production is growing nationwide, and costs are always rising. Learning how to take advantage of renewable energy and energy efficiency opportunities can help growing breweries save money. In order to operate at peak efficiency, especially during these periods of growth, breweries are left with a lot of questions about how to cut energy costs. That’s why a number of breweries are turning to solar power to help control costs.
Thanks to non-profits like the Green Brewery Project, established and start-up brewing companies can seek advice about how to become optimally sustainable. The nonprofit consults breweries about smart management of resources, design, operations, and more.Tweet