Solar-powered suds

South Coast Solar

South Coast Solar’s video toasts Abita Brewing PV installation job in Louisiana

Two of my favorite market disruptions–solar power and craft beer–converge when a brewery puts photovoltaics and/or solar hot water on its property. A freshly brewed example of the solar-powered suds trend comes from Louisiana, where South Coast Solar recently installed a 85KW system on the Abita Brewery facility rooftop, a PV array that will offset 10% of the firm’s operational and production energy usage.

The flat-roof commercial install features 340 150W Conergy crystalline-silicon solar panels running through a wall of nine SMA inverters, and is expected to produce 2.7 million KWh of power over the next 25 years. “The system, which took about three weeks to install, cost $199,585, and 25% of that–$49,896 – was covered by a grant through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Energy for America Program,” according to the the Times-Picayune site. “The grant money came from Louisiana’s allotment of funds from the Food, Conservation and Energy Act of 2008.”

“Solar technology provides the perfect platform for established businesses, like Abita Brewing Co., to employ proven technology, lock in their energy rates long term, and reinvest their savings into the future growth of the company,” said Jerry Humel, VP of New Orleans-based South Coast Solar, in a prepared statement. David Blossmann, Abita Beer’s president, told the newspaper that the PV array “really fits in to what we do as a brewery–trying to be a good neighbor and a good environmental steward.”

The South Coast Solar folks have posted a slick video (embedded above) documenting the Abita job, replete with time-lapse panel installation footage, on-camera quotes from the partners, and a rock-nasty slide-guitar-fueled soundtrack. To accentuate the viewing experience, the Curator recommends either the Abita Restoration Pale Ale or Jockamo IPA (love that Nawlins branding!) for your drinking pleasure.