Maine Beer Company is an award-winning brewery based in Freeport, Maine. They're an overnight success story, gaining nationwide recognition and widespread popularity after a beer and food writer from the Boston Globe wrote an article featuring their first IPA, "Lunch." They're now considered to be one of the best breweries in the New England.
Owners Dan and David Kleban had always wanted to invest in renewable energy to help offset the high electric demand of brewing 13 different types of beer, which are then shipped to distributers in ten states. They wanted to operate their brewery as sustainably and efficiently as possible, in the spirit of their motto, "Do What's Right." In 2015, they made a business decision to invest in a solar project, with the goal of producing as much energy on-site as possible.
The Klebans want people look to the brewery as proof that you can be a small, independent company yet still do some pretty amazing things--both when it comes to the beer they produce, and to the impact they have on their community and the world.
The Solar Tracker Solution
Once they'd made the decision to go solar, the brewery turned to AllEarth dealer partner Assured Solar Energy, a solar design and installation company located in North Yarmouth, Maine, for help in building the perfect system to meet their needs. To meet the brewery's high energy needs, the team at Assured Solar Energy designed a 55.12kW system to power the business’s brewery and tasting room.
The project included both 42.6kW of rooftop solar on the brewing facility, and two 6.2kW dual-axis solar trackers out front, which not only boost the overall production of the system but serve as a visual reminder of the brewery’s commitment to sustainability. Since the system was installed, the tasting room, located on busy Route 1, has seen a noticeable increase in traffic, and the solar installation has become a local landmark.
“We were excited to supply innovative, American-made solar trackers for this project, a solar solution that will produce more energy from the sun and give our customer greater long-term energy savings. In addition to producing more energy to meet their electric demand, Maine Beer Company liked that the solar trackers would be a visible statement of their renewable energy commitment.”
- Rob Taisey, Assured Solar Energy
The 55.12kW project produces 72,260kWh annually, outperforming estimates based on installed system size. This offsets approximately 50% of Maine Beer Company's energy needs. While the entire installation is exceeding expectations in terms of performance and production, the trackers are especially notable for their high power output: when looking at the production of the 42.6kW fixed roof-mount solar versus the 12.4kW solar tracker system, the trackers outperformed the rooftop system by 34% in an energy/unit power comparison.