New Belgium Brewing Pursues Sustainability Goals with Bitronics
PUBLISHED ON May 02, 2011
New Belgium Brewing (Fort Collins, Colorado), which has grown in recent years to become the nation’s third largest craft brewery, built their business on a culture of sustainability. This ethic manifests in employee-centered programs such as employee ownership, open-book management, and company-provided (and iconic) Fat Tire bikes. It also is evident in their energy and environmental engineering philosophy of continuous improvement.
The facility’s sustainability-centered projects include a 200kW solar array (the largest private installation in the state), a wastewater digestion process that offsets natural gas usage with local methane, a newly installed 500kW CHP unit that ties into the local utilities demand-response programs, off-peak thermal energy storage of cold water for wort cooling, and a commitment to purchase wind power for the remainder of its energy needs.
New Belgium has deployed Bitronics 70 Series IED meters throughout their facility to provide energy baseline data to measure efficiency goals against. Head Electrician Dave Benavidez says, “with Bitronics we can put one [M572] into one enclosure, and monitor two generation or consumption points with one device. The Bitronics meters are significantly cheaper than the competitors we looked at and offered all the features we needed for Amps, KW, Voltage, frequency, and the logging capabilities of anomalies. We also liked the Modbus communication to the units over Ethernet.”
The brewery is also participating in a Smart Grid pilot project for the city of Fort Collins. Dubbed FortZED (for Zero Energy District), the project aims to make the downtown area of Fort Collins net energy neutral, producing as much energy from local generation as it consumes. Using a combination of energy efficiency measures, local generation and demand response from the brewery and Colorado State University’s Engines and Energy Conversion Lab (which also uses Bitronics meters), FortZED is among the most advanced Smart Grid pilots in the US.
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