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new belgium brewery: solar array

New Belgium Brewing, Fort Collins Colorado has recently announced the largest privately owned solar array in Colorado has gone live at their plant. The 200 kW system will produce 16 percent of New Belgium’s peak electrical load and 3 percent of their total electrical energy use. The array is part of the brewer’s commitment to Fort Collins’ FortZED initiative, a public/private partnership that aims to create the world’s largest “active zero energy district” through Smart Grid and renewable energy technology.

Boulder-based Namaste Solar began the installation in late August 2009. The New Belgium packaging hall now holds 870 panels, and engineers estimate it can power the bottle line for up to eight hours on a sunny day. New Belgium became the country’s first brewery to subscribe to 100 percent wind powered electricity in 1998 and can produce up to 15 percent of its electrical needs by capturing methane from its process water treatment plant to fire a co-generation engine which produces heat and electricity on-site.

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