4 Pines Embraces Solar Powered Beer in bid for 100% Renewable Energy
4 Pines Brewing Company now brews beer powered by the sun and their community. In a first-ever collaboration, Australia’s two leading community solar organisations – Pingala and ClearSky Solar Investment – combined forces to facilitate community investment in this flagship renewable energy project.
These learnings allowed 4 Pines to imporve their energy efficiencies while working towards solar energy.
The process started with Solar engineers, Smart Commercial Solar, collecting data to gain insight into 4 Pines Brewery’s electrical demands and right-size the solar system. These learnings allowed 4 Pines to improve their energy efficiencies while working towards solar energy.
On the financing side, ClearSky Solar Investments set up a Fixed Unit Trust with provision for 10 investors committing a minimum of $2,000 to the project. The Pingala Co-operative signed up as the major investor, thereby allowing an unlimited number of parties to purchase up to 4 x $250 share units each.
4 Pines Brewing Company’s local community including 4 Pines employees, 4 Pines local Beer Club members and Northern Beaches locals put in expressions of interest to join the Pingala Co-operative investment, and lucky shareholders were drawn out of a specially-crafted barrell at the 4 Pines Truck Bar in October 2018.
The 100-kW solar system was installed by Solar engineers, Smart Commercial Solar, in November 2018. It supplies clean power to the 4 Pines Brewery, pack line, and office spaces in Brookvale. 4 Pines continues to pay for electricity consumed, with the proceeds being returned to shareholders via a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with Smart Commercial Solar.
The solar installation will deliver nearly 40% of 4 Pines’ current electricity needs at Brookvale. As a part of the greater AB InBev family, 4 Pines is committed to securing 100% of their purchased electricity from renewable sources by 2025. This is the first step towards 4 Pines reaching that goal.