The Alchemist, the Vermont maker of Heady Topper, is getting a boost from the sun to green its brewing operations. AllEarth Renewables, a Vermont-based solar tracker manufacturer and developer of solar projects, and the Alchemist have announced a partnership that will provide the brewery solar energy from a portion of a 150-kW Vermont solar orchard. The new solar project will provide nearly 100 percent of the energy the Waterbury brewery needs annually with emissions-free, net-metered solar and provide the company long-term annual savings on its electric bill.
The Alchemist recently joined the Ceres Brewery Climate Challenge, committing to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions and join the call for substantive climate action. The initiative emphasizes “using less energy, choosing clean energy and investing in new technologies” and believes that environmental stewardship and successful business goes hand-in-hand.
“We saw first-hand the effects of climate instability when we got flooded out of our own brewery during Tropical Storm Irene. We are committed to our customers not only to brew the best quality beers we can, but to take leadership in addressing our climate challenges. Through this partnership, we can do this and save money in our business operations,” said Alchemist co-owner Jen Kimmich.
In addition to the new solar commitment, The Alchemist’s Waterbury cannery has increased its composting and side streaming program to reduce its waste. At a new energy-efficient facility and visitors center the brewery is constructing in Stowe, Vt., The Alchemist is installing cutting edge technology to reclaim and reuse all of the CO2 the brewery will produce and they are installing an innovative water treatment facility to minimize the strength of their wastewater.
The 150-kW system in Bethel, Vt., is hosted on the land of Michael and Amy Manning, who plan to plant clover around the solar array for forage for honey bees. Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) will remain with the project.
“We have always wanted our land to help support itself and these projects are good for the community,” said Michael Manning. “We’re proud to have this in our backyard.”
“We are thrilled to be partnering with the Alchemist to provide locally produced solar power for their top-ranked beer. Their decision to go solar sends a strong message about their values as a company and their commitment to the Vermont economy,” added David Blittersdorf, president and CEO of AllEarth Renewables.
Andrew Savage is chief strategy officer of AllEarth Renewables.