Bright Brewery marked its first step towards carbon neutrality, launching its solar energy generation by serving freshly brewed beer poured by the power of the sun.
We have also called on the Australian craft brewing industry to put environmental sustainability on the national agenda and to work together on future-proofing such an energy intensive industry.
“We put a brewery here in Bright because we love the rich natural environment that surrounds the town and the awesome outdoor lifestyle that it provides,” explained Bright Brewery founder and owner Scott Brandon.
”The environment is one of the biggest drivers of Bright’s economy, regularly drawing many visitors here across the seasons for the spectacular scenery and alpine adventures, so it is imperative for us to do our part in sustaining it.”
The new 50kw Enphase solar system, covering Bright Brewery’s 600 square metres of roof in 192 solar panels, was designed and installed by Living Energy Solutions to maximise the efficiency of a complex and often shaded roof space by using micro-invertors and the latest smart technology. With the system set to save around $18,000 a year, providing a payback period of less than 5 years, the thriving business regards the solar installation as not only a smart business move, but essential to the operating an energy intensive craft brewing business.
“The advantage of this system with Enphase microinvertors is that it can be moved, added to and allows for software updates and operational maintenance to be completed instantly from anywhere in the world. That’s extremely important for us in a regional area. It saves us from any downtime waiting for technicians to come here in person for repairs if panels or the system goes offline.”
“It also provides fantastic access to monitoring and analysis of the solar system’s performance.”
“The best part is that we’re now generating enough solar power to cover all our electrical needs of making beer. Our brewhouse used around 6 megawatt hours during January, during which time our solar produced over 7 megawatt hours of power.”
The next focus to bring our brewing operation closer to carbon neutrality will be on the energy required to heat the brewery’s boiler, which is currently powered by natural gas and requires around 12 megawatt hours of power each month.
“We believe that sustainability should be an underpinning value of what defines a craft brewery. For us, craft brewing means really caring about how you make beer, why you’re making beer and the impact that the process and product has on your customers and surrounds, and that includes caring about your impact on the environment and the sustainable nature of your business.”
“We love being part of an industry that is very collaborative. Craft brewers tend to be some of the most supportive and sharing business owners with fellow industry members. We just need to make sure that the issue of environmental sustainability is on the table at an industry level.”