Tesla Powerpack & Craft Beer Come Together At Sierra Nevada Brewing Company

9 months ago by Steven Loveday 16

Sierra Nevada Brewing Company, Chico, CA

Sierra Nevada Brewing Company, Chico, CA

Not too long ago, Sierra Nevada Brewing Company was just one of many little craft breweries popping up all over the U.S. Now, it’s mainstream and produces a pale ale that most beer lovers have enjoyed. Sierra Nevada just added Tesla Powerpack batteries to its brewery in Chico, CA.

Tesla Powerpack

Tesla Powerpack

The company is getting hit hard with demand charges for its electricity use. It actually paid more in 2016 for demand charges, than its normal electric bill. Now, Sierra Nevada is looking to Tesla Powerpack energy storage technology to solve the problem. During peak times, the brewery can draw from the Powerpack, rather than incurring the additional charges. This also helps to ease the stress that the massive facility puts on the area’s power grid.

Some wineries have turned to this type of technology, and while there are few, Sierra Nevada isn’t the only brewery headed in this direction. The Maui Brewing company also installed Tesla Powerpacks. In Colorado, a study was performed that made lithium-ion electrodes from brewery wastewater. We will begin to see more companies, especially those like Sierra Nevada, with roots in sustainable practices, turning to similar concepts.

Sierra Nevada is already active as a “clean energy” advocate, with its use of solar power. The company’s sustainability manager, Cheri Chastain said:

 “The batteries are a piece of our energy puzzle that also includes pieces like craft brewing’s largest solar system, 2 megawatts of Capstone microturbines, multiple heat recovery projects, and an extensive suite of energy-efficiency projects.”

Because brewing is a scientific process, relying on specific temperatures and chemical reactions, the company doesn’t have the convenience of avoiding peak times. The process involves heating and cooling multiple huge batches, which both require an enormous amount of energy. The filtering and bottling process also requires electricity. At any given time, a plethora of batches can be at any stage of the process, while others are at a different stage. It is an around-the-clock situation. Chastain explained:

“There are spikes, however, in early morning or late evening when the sun is not out and the load is slightly larger than what our microturbines can provide — this is where the batteries come in. They are designed to provide the short-duration power needed to avoid high demand charges when solar and microturbines aren’t enough.”

The facility now has 1 megawatt-hour of Tesla Powerpack batteries, which significantly diminish overall power needs. Added to this, Sierra Nevada will get funds back as part of California’s Self-Generation Incentive Program. So, the Tesla products will easily pay for themselves over the course of about two years. Daniel Finn-Foley, senior analyst at GTM Research shared (with many puns):

“Tapping into systems like these could cure what ales large consumers by bottling up charges that hang over their balance sheets. There is a lot here to distill, as this is one of the lager energy storage projects we’ve seen in this stout, yet lush, market. Cheers to Tesla, but true proof will come beyond the first draft, as broader commercialization is not, so to speak, easy.”

Source: GTM

Tags: , , , ,

16 responses to "Tesla Powerpack & Craft Beer Come Together At Sierra Nevada Brewing Company"

  1. Dav8or says:

    Cool. I buy their beer and have for years. They have found a way to save money in the long run. This is the best sales angle for PV solar and these battery walls. Forget green and saving the planet, lets talk real savings!

    1. All-Purpose Guru says:

      This is also good because it reduces demand on the grid. These spikes are the bane of power utilities because they have to be allowed for 24/7 regardless of the actual draw on the utility.

      I went to school in Chico, drank quite a bit of their beer while I was there. They make a good product and try to be good to the community.

  2. Heisenberghtbacktotheroots says:

    Did not read the text.

    I am finally drunk!
    .

    Live you all!

  3. Heisenberghtbacktotheroots says:

    Sleeping in my car I will… You sleeping in my cat I will.. You sleeping in the top seat of my cat!

  4. Jim Whitehead says:

    Breweries should locate near geothermal hot spots by rivers or lakes. They can be used for cheap electricity and provide cool and hot water nearly free.

  5. Redmond Chad says:

    In April 2010 I stopped by their pub/restaurant in Chico for dinner with a friend. I asked to use their charging station; I had come down from Seattle and at the time I believe they were the only charging station North of San Francisco (I had been using campground to charge).

    They were very excited. They told me I was the first person to use it. It took a while for them to find the key, but once they did the GM and hostess walked me out to the charging station. It took a while for them to figure out how to unlock it…to reveal a 120V outlet. I got 3 miles of range during dinner.

    Kudos to them for getting started early!

    1. All-Purpose Guru says:

      This is a case where you’ve got to at least give them credit for effort.

      The folks who run Sierra Nevada are good people. They now appear to have a ChargePoint station at the brewery, and there is a Supercharger in the next town north along I-5 in Corning.

  6. JR says:

    Greatings from DK on the project
    Great bear the IPA i drink it sometimes

  7. Gasbag says:

    Could one of our IEV accountants please contact them to explain why the Powerpack will never pay for itself? JK

    I thought this was going to be a story about how they had named an ale Tessa Power and that I could now get my Tesla Power Pack for $49.95.

  8. Kdawg says:

    New Belgium brewery in Ft. Collins CO has EV charging. They also actively promote biking. Good beer and good brewery tour too.

    Article from 2013
    http://driveelectricnoco.org/2013/06/drive-electric-northern-colorado-and-new-belgium-brewing-company/

    1. unlucky says:

      Sierra Nevada has EV charing too. 24kW CCS DCFC plus some AC for quite some time now.

      https://api.plugshare.com/view/location/3830

      They are the only CCS DCFC around in that area, it’d be great if they would go up to 50kW or more though.

  9. Neil says:

    If you’d like the tesla powerwall 2 + solar let me know!

  10. Ron M says:

    How many MW’s of Powerwall’s have been sold to date.

  11. Tom says:

    Capstone turbine mentioned in the article is a really fascinating company with a really neat natural gas offering. I ‘microturbine’ natural gas generator that when used as combined heat and power is extremely efficient.

  12. Gene says:

    On the picture I see an industrial megafactory, not a craft brewery.