AMPYR IDEA completes Australia’s biggest rooftop solar installation on a brewery

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Date published 06.09.21

September 06, 2021 – AMPYR IDEA and Smart Commercial Solar have completed the installation of an impressive 3.01MW rooftop solar system at one of Australia’s biggest breweries. The solar system is powering the production of some of the nation’s most iconic beers, including Victoria Bitter, Great Northern and Carlton Draught.

The Asahi Beverages Yatala site on Queensland’s Gold Coast was shifted to solar by its owner, Carlton & United Breweries (CUB), which hired Smart Commercial Solar and AMPYR IDEA to carry out the enormous 7,000-panel task.

The installation took more than 20 workers for roughly 18 months to complete and required more than 150 kilometres of cable to be laid to fill “virtually every bit of available space” at the brewery with solar panels.

Chris Gavin, Managing Director of AMPYR IDEA, said “We’re very proud of what we’ve achieved with Asahi Beverages. Working in an operating brewery of this size had its challenges and we managed to deliver the system with no interruption to the facility”.

Maximilian Stenning, General Manager of Smart Commercial Solar, said the installation was one of the most complex projects the company had undertaken in Australia. The sheer size of the central solar control room, for instance, required it to be escorted to the site by police.

“The scope of it is amazing and sets the standard for breweries globally. We believe it is Australia’s fifth largest onsite solar project and we are extremely impressed by Asahi Beverages’ commitment to take on a solar project of this magnitude.”

Yatala Brewery plant manager, Tom Robinson, said the panels would generate enough solar to power “nearly 9,000 beer fridges” a year, while also making CUB Australia’s largest brewer of solar-powered beer.

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

“It’s not enough to power the entire brewery, [but] 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.”

Asahi Beverages, the Australian arm of Japanese brewing giant Asahi which acquired CUB in mid-2020, has set a goal of sourcing all its electricity across the country from renewable sources by 2025 and reduce its emissions by 50% by the same date.

“AMPYR IDEA was founded to help businesses save money, improve their carbon footprint and reduce their reliance on the grid. Projects like this show that it is possible for all businesses, large and small, to accomplish all these goals using on-site solar systems”, said Gavin.