We receive about 766,000 kWh of free energy annually, delivered by the sun to our 3.1 acres at the Four Corners in New London. It seemed obvious to begin harvesting the sun’s free resource. Various incentive programs and lower prices on solar systems created an opportunity to begin harvesting the sun’s irradiance to help power our daily operations.
Currently, we are offsetting about half of the fuel used to heat our hot water thanks to the new solar hot water collectors mounted on the roof over the dining room. Not only do these panels provide hot water for the brewery, but also the daily operations of the restaurant.
We also feature a solar photovoltaic (“PV”) array near the hops garden, just outside the dining room windows. The PV system generates about 50% of our electricity used each year. In it’s first year of operation, our system produced 60 MWh of energy! That’s 120% of what was originally projected and we have continued to expand the system by adding additional panels when we can. To date, we have generated 423 MWh and offset our carbon footprint by almost 300 tons – that is comparable to 25 acres of trees!
We are committed to finding new ways to lessen our carbon footprint and be an environmentally conscious business. During the summer of 2012, we replaced our propane-fired boiler with a MESys AutoPellet fully-automatic wood pellet boiler. The boiler will displace approximately 6,450 gallons of propane each year. The pellets are delivered and stored in the silo in the back of the building.