American brewing giant Anheuser-Busch announced on Tuesday that it had signed a Power Purchase Agreement for the electricity generated by a 310 megawatt (MW) solar farm to be built in West Texas which will be completed by 2021, at which point Anheuser-Busch will be purchasing 100% of its electricity from renewable energy sources.
Anheuser-Busch is the wholly owned subsidiary of the world’s largest brewing company, Anheuser-Busch InBev — the maker of such beers as Corona, Budweiser, and Stella Artois. In early 2017, the company committed to transitioning to 100% renewable electricity by 2025, and has made significant strides towards transitioning its entire business to a greener future — including committing to set science-based targets and seeking supply chain environmental data.
Anheuser-Busch InBev also, in August of 2018, launched its 100+ Accelerator which will make available up to $100,000 per entrant with an idea to solve some of the world’s most pressing global sustainability issues, and which was opened to “academics, entrepreneurs, scientists, and technologists.”
As part of its parent companies commitment to 100% renewable electricity, Anheuser-Busch announced this week the signing of a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) for 100% of the electricity generated from the Maplewood solar project, set to be built in Pecos County in West Texas, and which is set to enter operations by 2021. The project is being developed by Recurrent Energy, the wholly owned subsidiary of Canadian Solar, one of the world’s largest solar power companies, which will also likely provide its high-efficiency poly solar modules for the project.
Upon completion of the project and activation of the PPA, Anheuser-Busch will be able to brew all its beers — including names such as Bud Light, Michelob ULTRA, Busch and more — with 100% renewable electricity from solar and wind projects, four years ahead of its 2025 target.
Further, and to add a touch of the dramatic to proceedings, Anheuser-Busch President and CEO Michel Doukeris will sign the world’s longest contract, for five billion years, with the sun, and use the heat of the sun itself to burn his signature into the agreement at Anheuser-Busch’s Brewery in Fairfield, California. The contract, which has been created by solar artist Michael Papadakis, is described by Anheuser-Busch as “a symbolic gesture that states as long as the sun is shining, Anheuser-Busch will be committed to using renewable electricity sources.”
“As the country’s leading brewer, we’re committed to driving meaningful change as we announce the largest solar partnership in the world for the beverage industry,” said Michel Doukeris, President and CEO of Anheuser-Busch. “From our 18,000 colleagues to our wholesaler partners, our teams across the country will continue to find innovative ways to create a world that is cleaner and more sustainable for future generations.”
Upon completion, the Maplewood solar project will boast nameplate capacity of 310 MWp/222 MWac and generate enough electricity to supply the equivalent of 55,000 homes — 650 gigawatt-hours of energy each year, which will provide enough electricity to brew 20 million 12-ounce servings of beer a year.
“The signing of this power purchase agreement with Anheuser-Busch, the US beer industry leader, demonstrates Canadian Solar’s ability to meet the needs of a diverse array of corporate customers,” said Dr. Shawn Qu, chairman at Canadian Solar. “We’re honored to supply affordable clean energy to a C&I customer base spanning the sectors of academia, transportation, traditional energy, and now food and beverage. Looking at publicly announced deals, we are proud to be the leading solar developer in the Texas market, with over 1.3 gigawatts of signed electricity contracts for energy generated within ERCOT’s service territory.”