It was a historic day yesterday for the Kona Brewing Co. as they announced its 229 kW solar energy generating system at its Kailua-Kona brewery and pub on Hawaii’s Big Island is fully operational. The brewery held a private blessing of the system with us (Sunetric) on Monday, October 18. Kumu Keala Ching provided the blessing, and guests enjoyed tastes of one of Kona Brewing Co.’s first batches of solar-energy-produced beer, Suncharged Pale Ale.
“It was an exciting day when we flipped the switch,” said Kona Brewing Co.’s President and CEO Mattson Davis. “The install went smooth, thanks to the expert guidance provided by Sunetric. Now, we are the first brewery in Hawaii making sun-powered beer, and our system is among the largest in the craft beer industry nationwide. It’s a great feeling!”
The project, a roof-mounted grid-tied photovoltaic (PV) system made up of 880 260-watt solar modules, produces an average of 900 kWh of electricity each day, allowing Kona Brewing Co. nearly 60 percent offset of its current electricity usage. At the entrance to the restaurant, Kona Brewing Co. guests can check out a real-time monitor that shows how much energy the solar system is generating. At the current commercial retail electricity rate, the system will offset more than $100,000 in Kona Brewing Co.’s electricity expenditures per year.
“Kona Brewing Co. should be proud of the environmental impact it’s making in our islands,” said Sunetric CEO Alex Tiller. “Thanks to forward-thinking organizations such as this, Hawaii will reduce its dependence on imported fossil fuel.”
The next time you’re in Kona, visit the brewery and check out all the awesomeness going on!