Thursday, January 7, 2010

New Belgium keeps getting greener

New Belgium Getting GreenerSometimes being green just isn't green enough and when you're the New Belgium Brewing Company of Fort Collins Colorado there's always room for improvement. The sky seems to be the limit and also the source of some of their power. New Belgium recently completed the installation and turn-on of a new solar array. Read the press release from Marketwire below and find out how the sun is now off loading their power needs at New Belgium.< Jan 05, 2010 13:09 ET Largest On-Site Solar Array in Colorado Now Live at New Belgium Brewing

New Belgium Flips the Switch in Time for a New Year

FORT COLLINS, CO--(Marketwire - January 5, 2010) - New Belgium Brewing, makers of Fat Tire Amber Ale, announced today that the largest privately owned solar array in Colorado has gone live.

The 200 kW system will produce 16 percent of New Belgium's peak electrical load and 3 percent of their total electrical energy use. The array is part of the brewer's commitment to Fort Collins' FortZED initiative, a public/private partnership that aims to create the world's largest "active zero energy district" through Smart Grid and renewable energy technology.

Boulder-based Namaste Solar was contracted for the integration, which began in late August. The New Belgium packaging hall now holds 870 panels, and engineers estimate it can power the bottle line for up to eight hours on a sunny day.

New Belgium, along with several other Fort Collins entities -- such as the City of Fort Collins, Colorado State University, Spirae, Inc., Brendle Group, Advanced Energy, and Woodward -- responded to a request from the Department of Energy to demonstrate peak load reduction. The partners were one of nine groups nationwide to receive such a grant.

"We feel very fortunate to participate in this ambitious local effort. By leveraging the contributions from our partners and the Department of Energy along with our own investments, we'll reduce our peak electrical load by over two-thirds," said New Belgium Sustainability Director Jennifer Orgolini. "This solar PV installation is an integral part of the portfolio because we lower our peak use by lowering our base."

New Belgium became the country's first brewery to subscribe to 100 percent wind powered electricity in 1998 and can produce up to 15 percent of its electrical needs by capturing methane from its process water treatment plant to fire a co-generation engine which produces heat and electricity on-site.

About New Belgium Brewing Company

New Belgium Brewing Company, makers of Fat Tire Amber Ale and a host of Belgian-inspired beers, began operations in a tiny Fort Collins basement in 1991. Today, the third largest craft brewer in the U.S., New Belgium produces seven year-round beers; Fat Tire Amber Ale, Sunshine Wheat, Blue Paddle Pilsner, 1554 Black Ale, Abbey, Mothership Wit and Trippel, as well as a host of seasonal releases. In addition to producing world-class beers, New Belgium takes pride in being a responsible corporate role model with progressive programs such as employee ownership, open book management and a commitment to environmental stewardship. For more information, visit

Related news sources:

FortZED to take major role in city's 'smart' effort - The Coloradoan - Jan 1 2010

Solar array is up, running at New Belgium brewery - The Coloradoan (Jan 7 2010)

New Belgium Brewing Announces On-Site Solar Array - Marketwire (Aug 21 2009)

New Belgium Using Smart Grid to Time Energy Production - Environmental Leader (Jan 4 2010)

Colorado Brewery Completes PV Array - Solar Industry Magazine (Jan 6 2010)

Odell Brewing also installing solar panels:

Odell Brewing Company also has installed new solar panels on their new expansion. According to their tweet on January 7th: "Thankful for this cold but SUNNY day - Our new Photovoltaic (Solar) installation will generate over 1/3 of our energy and goes live today!"

With a third of their energy coming from the sun, they're give another boost to Fort Collins during high energy demand days this summer. Read more about Odell Brewing's solar panels.

Related articles:
- Touring New Belgium's Liquid Center.
- Tasting room notes from New Belgium.
- New Belgium Dark Kriek review.

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