It’s not only the companies that you think are “green” that are turning to renewable energy to power their operations. SC Johnson uses wind power, biofuel and solar power. Retailers like Costco, Wal-Mart and Kohls are leaders in the industry when it comes to putting solar panels on the rooftops of stores.
Earlier this week, the EPA released its Top 30 Retail list, the top retailers in the EPA’s Green Power Partnership. Some retailers like Kohls and Estee Lauder purchase over 100 percent green power, according to the list. These companies may not be the first ones that come to mind when you think of sustainability, but they’re clearly working on being sustainable when it comes to energy usage. I believe when companies make sustainable strides that make a difference, they should be acknowledged for it, whether it's adding solar panels to rooftops or taking GMO ingredients out of kid-favorite cereals.
So, when MillerCoors let me know that today it announced the completion of a 3.2-megawatt capacity solar panel installation at its brewery in Irwindale, California, I thought it was worth a mention. It’s the largest solar installation at any brewery in the U.S., and the company says the addition will “significantly increase the brewery’s energy independence.”
The project, which broke ground in October 2014, generates electricity without producing any emissions and will help to offset electricity use on the local grid during periods of high demand. It will also help further reduce the brewery’s traditional energy use, which has decreased by more than 30 percent over the last five years. With more than 10,000 solar panels installed across 10 acres of the brewery grounds, the MillerCoors solar array will produce enough energy to brew more than 7 million cases of beer annually. The brewery also creates biogas from wastewater to power two GE Jenbacher engines.
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