Duke Energy and Firestone Walker Brewing Co. have completed one of the largest on-site solar arrays in the craft beer industry – a 2.1 MW solar array and 281 kW solar carport on approximately 10 acres in Paso Robles, Calif.
“REC Solar and Duke Energy Renewables have been solid partners throughout this process,” says David Walker, co-owner of Firestone Walker Brewing Co. “They helped us unlock our vision for ‘beer brewed with sunshine,’ and methodically executed the complex entitlements, engineering and installation of the array. It was as painless a process as we could have hoped.”
The on-site solar, single-axis trackers and carports were made possible through the collaboration of two Duke Energy subsidiaries. REC Solar designed and built the solar project and Duke Energy Renewables provided Firestone Walker financing through a 25-year power purchase agreement.
The solar array, which will generate the majority of the brewery’s energy, is located adjacent to the brewery and features ground-mounted single-axis trackers that maximize solar energy production and is projected to generate 4,055 MWh of electricity in its first year. The second 281 kW array consists of a solar carport spanning 14,000 square feet just south of the brewery – increasing the brewery’s total solar production to 4,570 MWh of electricity generated in its first year.
Project planning began in late 2016, with groundbreaking in April 2020. In addition to the solar arrays, the project includes utility substation upgrades that will make it easier for other local organizations seeking to go solar to tap into the power of renewable energy.