Carlton & United Breweries creates Australia's biggest brewery solar project

By Rachel Arthur contact

- Last updated on GMT

Pic:getty/justinpaget
Pic:getty/justinpaget

Related tags: Carlton & United, Asahi, sustainability, Australia

Carlton & United Breweries’ Yatala site – Australia’s largest brewery – is now producing Great Northern, Victoria Bitter and Carlton Draught with solar energy.

Around 7,000 solar panels have been installed on the roofs at the Queensland brewery, and the 3.01 MWp system is one of the largest solar installations of its kind in Australia. The panels are spread across 15,000 square meters, and generate enough energy to power more than 800 homes and nearly 9,000 beer fridges annually.

The project will let Asahi Beverages – which took over CUB last year – reduce carbon emissions in Queensland by around 100,000 tonnes over the next 25 years. 

Queensland: The Sunshine State

The panels were installed over 18 months and brewing was not disrupted over this time. More than 150 kilometres of cable was laid – enough to run from Yatala to Brisbane at least three times over – and more than 20 people were employed on the project.

“Queensland is beautiful one day and perfect the next, so it makes sense to harness that perfect weather to make perfect beer,”​ said Tom Robinson, Yatala Brewery Plant Manager.

“We’re committed to making the Yatala Brewery more sustainable and estimate the solar we generate will be enough to brew the equivalent of around 150 million stubbies or cans each year.

“We’ve covered virtually every bit of available roof space at the Yatala brewery with panels. While it’s not enough to power the entire brewery, our goal is to ensure Yatala is powered entirely by a mix of directly-sourced and offset solar electricity within four years, in line with Asahi Beverages’ targets.”

The project was led by Smart Commercial Solar in partnership with AMPYR Energy. Smart Commercial Solar General Manager Maximilian Stenning said it is one of the most complex projects the company has undertaken in Australia due to its size; as well as noting the challenge of installing panels at an operating facility.

“Asahi is at the leading edge of a quickly emerging trend among organisations to embrace ambitious projects that realise economic benefits for the business while reducing the environmental impact of business operations,” ​he said.

“The scope of it is amazing and sets the standard for breweries globally. We believe it’s Australia’s fifth largest “behind the meter” solar project, meaning it’s one of the largest in Australia where power is not fed back into the grid but rather used onsite.”

Asahi Beverages has set goals to reduce its overall carbon emissions by 50% by 2025.

Related topics: Processing & Packaging

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