Water, hops and malt are three of the main ingredients in brewing, but each resource is threatened by climate change. As a BCorp, it is our duty to invest in innovative technologies and create and use as much clean energy as possible. Our most recent partnership with SunCommon has allowed us to install Vermont’s first commercial solar canopy at our Stowe Brewery. SunCommon has installed 2 individual solar canopies that total 146kW DC or 110kW AC. The canopies contain a total of three hundred eighty one 384W bifacial solar panels, covering 31 parking spots in the parking lot. About 60% of our customer lot is now protected from sun and snow thanks to the solar canopy. Overall, the solar canopy provides about 178kWh of energy annually, which offsets about 40% of the brewery’s total energy consumption.
Many considerations were taken into the design process for the Stowe solar array. These included snow load & shedding, parking lot access, traffic patterns, town requirements for construction operations, town energy development goals, and customer preferences on aesthetics. The canopy was designed to provide a product that fit the “look” of The Alchemist’s distinct campus, while also maximizing the system’s output to meet our usage needs.
This is not our first partnership with a solar company. We partnered with AllEarth Renewables, a Vermont-based solar company that has an off-site array at Dart Farm to help power our Waterbury brewery, a partnership that produces 150kW of solar energy – more than enough to power the brewery. The leftover energy is donated to the Waterbury Senior Center. By working with AllEarth renewables and SunCommon, we hope to one day operate on 100% solar energy!