Global insights: Europe's largest corporate solar power deal is brewing

3 min

We reported last year on Apple’s achievement as the top company for installed solar capacity in the United States and Google’s biggest corporate purchase of renewable energy in history. Now the world’s largest brewer, AB InBev, has followed suit by signing an agreement with German renewable energy developer BayWa r.e (Carlton United Breweries signed a 12-year power purchase agreement with the same company in 2018) that will enable the beer giant to purchase 100% renewable electricity for its European brewing operations (which produces over 55 million kegs of beer yearly).

According to BayWa r.e, the 10-year Virtual Power Purchase Agreement (VPPA) will see power supplied from two solar farms with a combined power output of almost 200 megawatts of which AB InBev will be supplied with over 130 megawatts. 

This makes it the largest Pan-European corporate solar power deal in history, covering AB InBev’s 14 breweries in Western Europe and over 50 brands brewed and sold across multiple countries, including the global brand Budweiser.

BayWa r.e. will fund and develop two new solar sites in Spain (expected to be up and running by 2022), one of which will be called the ‘Budweiser Solar Farm’, that will provide 250 gigawatt hours of renewable electricity per year for AB InBev’s breweries. Over the course of the 10-year PPA, this is enough to power the equivalent of almost 670,000 European homes, or 100,000 stadium football matches.

Here in Australia, breweries around the country, large and small, craft and traditional, are also finding innovative ways to stay energy efficient and sustainable in their approaches to production and operations. CUB’s flagship beer, Victoria Bitter, announced last year that, in 2020, VB will be brewed with 100% offset solar electricity generated from the Karadoc Solar Farm.

In a country where a new craft beer brewery opens every six days, and demand for variety in beer choices as well as sustainability in production continues to grow, the connection between brewers of all sizes and renewable energy innovation look sunny indeed.   

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*As the system and market operator, we are fuel and technology neutral. The products, services and providers in this content are for illustrative purposes only and are not endorsed by AEMO.

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