Rain & Shine
Leo Clapham @ 2023-02-13 10:15:50 UTC
The new solar panels just fitted onto Stroud Brewery’s roof mean that the brewery’s sustainability work can continue whether the sun’s shining or if it’s raining. The solar PV panels will turn sunshine into renewable energy to power the brewery, and the toilets are flushed using rainwater collected and cleaned by the rainwater harvesting system. Both systems are on the brewery’s roof showing how it’s possible to turn a normally inactive part of a building into an income generator.
When Stroud Brewery opened in 2006, its founder and MD, Greg Pilley, was determined to show how it’s perfectly possible for a business to be both successful and environmentally and ethically responsible. At the time, finding such a business, especially in the brewing trade, was rare. But his time in Africa researching the role of traditional alcoholic drinks in community life, plus working at the Soil Association to set up veg box schemes, had convinced him to stay true to his vision. Greg’s determination paid off and Stroud Brewery is now a successful, award-winning business serving organic beer and is certified as a B Corporation, the highest standard possible indicating a company is operating sustainably and ethically.
Working with Howard Tenens power, an array of solar panels has been installed on the roof of Stroud Brewery which has already started making power despite the small amount of sunshine there’s been recently. Customers won’t be able to see the panels as they’re located on the side of the roof opposite to the main entrance. They’re expected to generate 60,000 kWh of electricity each year - the equivalent of 25% of the brewery’s annual electricity requirements which will knock an impressive £5,000 off its energy bill. The remaining energy needs will continue to be supplied by renewable energy company, Ecotricity.
The rainwater harvesting system, which is also on the roof of the brewery, collects up to 250,000 litres of rainwater every year. The system removes debris and then this water is used to flush the toilets. Why waste, and pay for, high quality drinking water in the toilets whilst dumping perfectly usable water down the drain at the same time? As the water use of all businesses is metered, using rainwater also helps the brewery to save money – approx. £800/year.
Stroud Brewery is constantly assessing how it can make itself as sustainable as possible. It already carries out a wide range of activities, from using all organic ingredients and being declared as a plastic-free champion by environmental charity, Surfers Against Sewage, to sourcing 70% of its supplies from local companies and erecting swift nesting and bat roosting boxes on the outside of its buildings. It’s also committed to being a hub for the local community and is the venue for a host of events to cater to all ages, interests and musical tastes. Details of what it does to reduce its impact on the planet can be read in its latest Impact Report.
HT Power have been delighted to install this rooftop PV array at Stroud Brewery. Any business tenant or commercial land/building owner considering PV panels, battery installations or EV charging can find more information about the benefits and how to go about it at Howard Tenens Power.