Brewing beer with solar

March 8th, 2012
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Kona Brewing Co., organizer of the Kona Brewers Festival on Saturday, chose to go solar in 2010 with this 229-Kilowatt (KW) solar array. Courtesy Photo.

Kona Brewing Co., organizer of the Kona Brewers Festival on Saturday, chose to go solar in 2010 with this 229-Kilowatt (KW) solar array. Courtesy Photo.

It's almost time for the 17th annual Kona Brewers Festival, a celebration of beer and cuisine on the Big Island this Saturday (March 10). So what's green about beer in Hawaii?

In 2010, Sunetric installed a 229-kilowatt solar energy system for the Kona Brewing Co.'s flagship brewery and pub, which started the Brewers Festival in 1996.

Here are some interesting figures on Kona Brewing Co.'s solar array:

  • Produced 314,563 pints, or 2,537 kegs, of hand-crafted brew to date.
  • Produced enough wattage to power 76 average residences each day.
  • Conserved 734 barrels of oil to date; the equivalent of 4,498 trips around the Big Island.
  • Prevented 691,132 pounds of CO2 from entering the atmosphere – the equivalent of taking 2,425 mid-sized cars off the road.
  • Saved Kona Brewing Co. $209,416 in electric costs in 2011 alone.

The Brewers Festival raises funds for environmental, educational and cultural causes. To see a list of beneficiaries, visit Sunetric's blog (and is giving away iPod Shuffles and other prizes to help raise awareness). They include everyone from The ACF Chefs de Cuisine Kona Kohala Chapter to the Peoples Advocacy for Trails Hawaii.

Sunetric is also bringing its Watt Wheels mobile solar energy station (a bright blue Honda Element retrofitted with three 230-watt SunPower modules) to power one of the festival's stages.

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