CUB sends nation’s biggest brewery solar

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Yatala Brewery photographed from above to showcase solar panels

The Yatala Brewery, on Queensland’s Gold Coast, is powered by rooftop solar thanks to the completion of a 3.01MWp (megawatts-peak) system.

Seven thousand solar panels will harness the sun’s rays to power the production of Carlton and United Breweries (CUB) beers including Victoria Bitter, Carlton Draught and Great Northern.

Yatala Brewery plant manager Tom Robinson says the panels are spread across 15,000 square metres,  providing “enough energy to power more than 800 homes”.

Smart Commercial Solar led the project in partnership with AMPYR Energy.

Installation took 18 months and did not interrupt brewing operations. More than 150 kilometres of cable was laid and over 20 people were employed on the project.

“We’ve covered virtually every bit of available roof space at the Yatala Brewery with panels,” Robinson says. “While it’s not enough to power the entire brewery, our goal is to ensure Yatala is powered entirely by a mix of directly-sourced and offset solar electricity within four years.”

Yatala Brewery is owned and operated by Asahi Beverages, which acquired CUB in 2020. Asahi has set sustainability targets of sourcing all its electricity from renewable sources, and reducing its carbon emissions by 50 percent, by 2025.

“Asahi is at the leading edge of a quickly emerging trend among organisations to embrace ambitious projects that realise economic benefits for the business while reducing the environmental impact of business operations,” says Smart Commercial Solar general manager Maximilian Stenning.

Stenning says the installation has been one of the company’s most complex in Australia to date. “The scope of it is amazing and sets the standard for breweries globally. We believe it’s Australia’s ‘behind the meter’ solar project, meaning it’s one of the largest in Australia where power is not fed back into the grid but rather used on-site.”

According to Robinson, the project will reduce carbon emissions in Queensland by around 100,000 tonnes over the next 25 years. “We’re committed to making the Yatala Brewery more sustainable and estimate the solar we generate will be enough to brew the equivalent of around 150 million stubbies or cans each year,” he adds.


Image credit CUB

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