The Anheuser-Busch brewery in Baldwinsville will now be partially powered by a 2.7 megawatt solar farm, the largest off-site solar installation of any Anheuser-Busch brewery in the country.
The 8,300 solar panels located on a vacant lot in the Town of Van Buren will provide enough electricity to help Anheuser brew more than 3 million cases of beer at its Baldwinsville brewery annually. That's only a fraction of the 85 million cases it produces now, and only about 4 percent of its total electricity usage. But Baldwinsville brewery General Manager Bryan Sullivan says this is about more than just finances.
"Across the U.S., our employees are united with a deep passion for brewing beer and an unwavering commitment to supporting the communities that we call home," Sullivan said. "This includes acting as stewards for our lands and waterways, recognizing our responsibility to lead our industry toward a cleaner environment as well."
The Anheuser-Busch Corporation has committed to sourcing 100 percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2025. Gov. Andrew Cuomo recently committed to sourcing 70 percent of New York's energy from renewables by 2030 in his Green New Deal policy.
David Sandbank with the New York State Energy Research and Development Agency (NYSERDA) says the private sector is critical to meeting that target.
"The state can provide leadership and the vision to be successful, but really we need everyone to participate in our ambitious clean energy goals," Sandbank said. "This project is a shining example of that true partnership between Anheuser-Busch and New York state, who both recognize the environmental urgency upon us right now that might not be acted upon by federal government. I think more companies need to step up with those types of goals to help."
NYSERDA invested about a third of the $3 million cost to build the solar farm through the state's New York Sun program.