Sierra Nevada, the US brewer, is using beer power to reduce its energy costs with the help of FuelCell Energy, a manufacturer of ultra-clean electric power plants.
<p>The move was made possible by the recent upgrading of FuelCell Energy's 1-megawatt direct fuel cell power plant at the Sierra Nevada brewery, to use fuel created from a waste by product of the beer brewing process.<br /><br />Through the upgrade Sierra Nevada has increased its sustainability and energy-efficiency, while realizing substantial cost savings by offsetting its purchase of natural gas. <br /><br />The brewery's fuel cell power plant, which began running last summer and was dedicated by California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, initially ran on natural gas. <br /><br />To boost the brewery's energy efficiency and ecologically friendly profile, Sierra Nevada founder Ken Grossman sought to convert the ultra-clean fuel cells from operating solely on natural gas to a gas mixture that the brewery produced as a byproduct, methane. <br /><br />The 1 MW power plant, one of three FuelCell Energy megawatt-class sites now running in California, is classified as an ultra-clean technology under California law and provides virtually 100% of Sierra Nevada's base load power requirements. <br /><br />In a statement, Mr Grossman said: The fuel cell power plant provides us with reliable, 24/7 electricity and helps make our energy self-sufficiency a reality.</p>