Solar Power in Breweries

"What’s better than a cold one underneath the scorching hot sun? A cold one brewed with POWER from the sun!"

"We are a small brewery, but we constantly strive to have positive impact on the environment and within our community."  Urban Chestnut

Hanlons-brewery Beers - Commercial Solar Power

Globally many breweries have switched to solar power (PV - PhotoVoltaic), from household size systems (5kW and above) to industrial-size with entire roofs covered with solar panels - Heineken being the largest with a whopping 3.3MW installation in Italy (for a full list of the Top 50 Solar Breweries at Nov 2016 check


But you don’t need to be a Heineken for PV to make commercial sense for your brewery as well as doing something good for the environment. Our systems can be financially advantageous for all levels of production, with designs tailored to your brewery.

Why? The Benefits of Solar for New Zealand Small Breweries

Substantial energy cost savings

Brewing is an energy-intensive operation with demanding equipment employed for processing, cooling and storage, as well as standard eg lighting, offices.  Solar panels can reduce your electricity cost through the power generated and the cooling effect of panels on the building (by blocking the direct sunlight).

Increased sales from sustainable business profile

The beer market is highly brand driven, and with today’s consumer becoming the conscious consumer it is more important than ever for a brewery to demonstrate its ‘green credentials’. Installing rooftop or ground-mount solar PV is a quick, easy win.

The Lion-owned Fermentist micro-brewery in Christchurch generated substantial PR value, numerous articles, eg headline “Lion Breweries goes for sustainable gold with micro-brewery in Christchurch.”


Solar: more affordable than ever

With the decline in costs of PV systems globally, New Zealand is experiencing impressive rates of growth of commercial solar.

Source: New Zealand Electricity Authority - Installed Distributed Generation


To make it even more affordable for you ZEN offers finance options.


Successful Integration of Solar into Breweries - The Sawmill Brewery

Sustainability is a crucial part of The Sawmill Brewery philosophy

Sawmill Brewery - Commercial Solar Power

System Size: 16.2 kW

Generation: 23.5 MWh p.a.

Savings: $3,500 p.a.

Panel: 54 x LONGi 300W panel

Inverter: Huawei SUN2000 33KTL 3-phase inverter

"Building a sustainable brewery operation is fundamental to us. We wanted a brewery our customers, community and team could be proud of. Our electricity usage was a concern (brewing being an energy-intensive activity), so we investigated the use of solar panels for power.

Our research took us to ZEN Energy Systems and in October 2018 after their thorough investigation of what would work best for our business, they installed a 16.8kW system in the brewery. We are generating even more solar power than we expected, resulting in real savings, and have had excellent feedback from visitors to the brewery.

For our team it is gratifying to take this huge step forward in being a business that has a positive impact on its environment.  We are all about independence and resourcefulness at Sawmill and Zen Energy have been immensely supportive of this."

Mike Sutherland and Kirsty McKay, The Sawmill Brewery

Breweries All Over the World are Going Solar

The Fermentist – Lion – Christchurch

The Lion-owned Fermentist micro-brewery in Christchurch generated substantial PR value, numerous articles, eg headline “Lion Breweries goes for sustainable gold with micro-brewery in Christchurch.”

The Australian Brewery, Sydney, Australia - 100kW

Daniel Shaw, head brewer of the Australian Brewery, says, "We are passionate about creating Australian-owned, locally-brewed craft beer – but that also means caring about the impact that our process has on its surrounds. Solar energy helps us slash emissions and boost renewable energy, reducing the environmental impact of our business now and into the future."

Grand Ridge Brewery, Victoria, Australia - 100kW

Grand Ridge Brewery has successfully transitioned the majority of its energy consumption to solar. The Gippsland brewer has always been conscious of the environment, brewing 100% pure beers with no added chemicals, preservatives or sugars and ensuring all their packaging is fully recyclable.”

Bright Brewery, Victoria, Australia - 50kW

The 50kw solar system, covering Bright Brewery’s 600 square metres of roof in 192 solar panels. The thriving business regards the solar installation as not only a smart business move, but essential to the operating an energy intensive craft brewing business.

Hanlon Brewery, England - 30kW

“At Hanlons, we pride ourselves on being a sustainable and environmentally friendly business. All of our water is from our own boreholes and the spent grains go to the local farmer or the Hanlons pigs. Delivery mileage is kept to a minimum and we have also recently installed a tailor-made solar PV system to power all of the machinery.”

Urban Chestnut, USA - 20kW

“We feel that it is our responsibility to reduce our impact on the environment during every step of operations at Urban Chestnut. From energy and water consumption to waste management, we have implemented strategies to become a more environmentally sustainable and responsible organization. We are a small brewery, but we constantly strive to have positive impact on the environment and within our community.”

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Commercial solar is a highly complex operation - a poorly designed system can cost you thousands in lost power savings or lead to buying an overly expensive system.

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