In Newark, Anheuser-Busch brews solar-powered beer

Anheuser-Busch is moving to get 10 percent of the power for its Newark brewery from solar power. With the help of Orion Energy and Solyndra, it's saving money, too.
Written by Andrew Nusca, Contributor

Anheuser-Busch, the American mega-brewer that owns Budweiser, Busch and Michelob and imports Bass Ale, Beck's and Stella Artois, is going green -- and it has nothing to do with hops.

For a brewer of this size, consistency is key. That's why Anheuser is usually on the front lines when it comes to technology.

According to a new MarketWatch report, that strategy continues to pick up steam. The company's nearly 60-year-old, 3.2 million-square-foot brewery in Newark, N.J. is now getting up to 5 percent of its electricity from 3,000 Solyndra-made photovoltaic solar panels on its roof.

The solar array covers 65,000 square feet and has a capacity of 530 kilowatts.

In a deal with Orion Energy Systems, the InBev-owned brewer is already moving to double its solar output to 10 percent of its total mix.

Steve Gelsi reports:

The Newark site's general manager, Kristopher Scholl, said engineers, executives and brewers at the company have had been studying solar power for years before giving a green light to the project.

"It's very important for us to invest in that kind of technology," Scholl said in an interview at the brewery, plainly visible from Newark Liberty International Airport across the highway.

It's just one more example of how going green makes sense and cents for multinational corporations. As energy costs go up and renewable energy sources proliferate (not to mention some pressure from sustainability-minded board members), figuring out better and cheaper ways to operate is the name of the game.

Orion made the capital investment on the solar panels, and operates them for Anheuser. It's a win-win agreement -- Orion gets lots of space to reap energy from the sun, and Anheuser gets a favorable rate to purchase that power.

Better still, the entire deal is lubricated by government incentives -- an up to 30 percent federal tax break on the cost of the installation, in this case -- for solar power.

Bottoms up.

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

Editorial standards