Thursday, May 06, 2004

Don't Let the Beer Go Bad

Businesses trying to keep operations going during California's rolling blackouts in 2000 learned to distrust the mainstream electricity grid. Among those most sensitive to a continuous supply of power, Sierra Nevada Brewing, based in Chico, California, took advantage of incentives offered by the California Public Utilities Commission to install fuel cells. The goal is to achieve an energy-neutral brewing operation, where the company creates as much energy as it consumes.

Even a short interruption in the electrical supply can ruin a batch of beer. And the summer temperatures in the Chico area, which push beyond the century mark for days at a time, make it critical that the power keep flowing along with the suds. Business incentives can help companies like Sierra Nevada Brewing free their operations from a fickle electricity grid. The article from Wired, Business Buys Into Fuel Cells, illustrates some other innovative business uses of renewable energy as well.