One of the world’s most esteemed names in beer, MillerCoors, is committed to finding ways to brew beer in a more environmentally sustainable manner. One way the company is meeting this commitment is by reducing the amount of energy it uses to brew its quality products. In the last five years, MillerCoors’ Irwindale Brewery has succeeded in slashing its energy use by more than 30 percent. To build on that success and continue reducing its energy dependence, MillerCoors engaged SolarCity to build the nation’s largest solar installation at a brewery. The 3.2 megawatt array consists of more than 10,000 solar panels installed across 10 acres of the famed brewery’s grounds in Irwindale, northeast of downtown Los Angeles. The solar system is expected to produce enough energy to brew more than 7 million cases of beer annually.
The project enables MillerCoors to significantly increase the brewery’s energy independence and offers significant environmental benefits to the San Gabriel Valley region and residents of Los Angeles County. The system will prevent more than 144 million pounds of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere over its lifetime. As the state of California continues to struggle with severe drought, the system will also save nearly 672 million gallons of water that would otherwise be consumed to produce electricity from fossil fuel or nuclear sources.*
The project began when MillerCoors submitted a request-for-proposal (RFP) to build a solar array for its Irwindale brewery. Among several highly qualified organizations, they chose SolarCity because of its experience providing clean energy solutions to well-known brands on a large scale. SolarCity provided a full-service solar package including planning, system design, permitting, construction and interconnection. The project was installed with no day-to-day disruption to MillerCoors’ streamlined operations at the facility.
“From heating our kettles to the packaging process, we rely on energy to brew our quality beers,” said Tom Long, MillerCoors CEO. “Simply put, without energy there is no beer. But we’re acutely aware of the energy stress on this community, so we’re doing our share—plus some—to decrease usage by installing this solar array. This step toward brewing more sustainably makes us a better brewer and a better neighbor to the residents of Los Angeles County.”