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25th January 2024

Brewery puts future first with installation of extra 600 solar panels  

A brewery near Bristol has installed hundreds more solar panels on its roof with the aim of using as much renewable energy as possible to fuel its beer production. 

Hare Brewery, which is owned by St Austell Brewery, will now be able to generate an additional 230,511kWh electricity per year. This added to the energy the existing solar panels at the site generate is the equivalent of powering around 150 homes. 

The new solar array which takes up the entire roof space of the brewery’s distribution centre in Warmley was installed by ZLC Energy Limited.

The Cornwall-based company is also responsible for the solar arrays at St Austell Brewery’s head office and Cornwall Distribution Centre in St Columb, as well as the 892 solar panels previously installed on Hare Brewery.

The 608 new solar panels add to St Austell Brewery’s efforts to champion sustainability and reach its net zero goals. 

During the summer months, Hare Brewery is expected to be able to brew its beer and operate on the energy the panels produce, with the system designed so that almost 100% of the generated power will be consumed on site. In the winter the site will draw a minimal amount of electric from the grid.  

It’s estimated that the arrays will save a huge 50,000kg of CO2 per year – which equates to 85.5 passengers’ roundtrip flights to Munich. 

Elle Sambrook, St Austell Brewery’s Head of Sustainability, said: “This is a really big step towards our net zero plans to eliminate our avoidable emissions.

“We set ourselves an additional goal to increase our on-site green energy and reach 50% energy consumption from renewables across all sites by 2030. These solar panels are a big part of making that goal a reality and we are already at 40% onsite generation at Hare Brewery with this installation.” 

ZLC’s Managing Director, Matthew Shepherd, added: “We are proud to have worked with St Austell brewery since 2012 to support them in working towards their sustainability goals. St Austell Brewery is a great customer to work with and there is nothing better to celebrate the completed install with than a cold pint of Tribute.” 

As part of the brewery’s overall sustainability aims, Will Hartley, Production Manager for Hare Brewery, has also been leading on brewing beer with less energy. 

He said: “Our teams are focused on several different improvement projects to reduce our energy consumption and waste. The method with the biggest impact is likely to be optimising our boil evaporation; effectively we will use less steam to achieve our boil. This will mean we reduce the amount of natural gas we use to make our beer.” 


For more information contact: 

Charlotte Turner, Press Officer / 07977 564900 

About St Austell Brewery: 

Independent, family-owned St Austell Brewery was established in Cornwall in 1851. Fast forward 172 years, and the company’s range of award-winning beers – including Tribute pale ale, Proper Job IPA and korev lager – are available in pubs and supermarkets nationwide. 

The business owns over 180 pubs, inns, and hotels across the West Country – including managed houses and tenancies. It also operates two breweries, in St Austell and Bath, having acquired fellow West Country brewer, Bath Ales in 2016. 

With a network of six depots across the West Country – from St Columb to Wimborne – the company is the leading wholesale drinks distributor in the region. 

About ZLC Energy: 

ZLC Energy is a Cornwall-based renewable energy company. ZLC is committed to shaping a sustainable future by enabling businesses to reduce impact on the planet’s resources by shifting to more environmentally conscious energy solutions, without disruption to operational hours. 

Please find a Wetransfer link to drone video and some pictures here, please credit Robert Wilcox:

Charlotte Turner, Press Officer / 07977 564900 

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