The ‘green’ beer at this Athens brewery isn’t just for St. Patrick’s Day

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ATHENS — A brewery in Georgia is about to take sustainability to a new level by brewing solar-powered beer.

Since its founding in 2002, Terrapin Beer Co. has taken great care to minimize its impact on the environment.

Soon, that commitment to being a leader in sustainability will go a step further as Terrapin becomes the first Georgia brewer to purchase renewable power directly at its facility. Through a partnership with Cherry Street Energy, a new solar array will be installed on the Terrapin rooftop, as well as solar-panel sunshades in the brewery’s parking lot.

The installed array will offset about 30% of Terrapin’s energy consumption with a renewable resource. Cherry Street Energy, an Atlanta based renewable power company, will own, operate and maintain the array and sell the power generated back to Terrapin.

“We are thrilled to partner with Terrapin to help with their commitment to be a leader in sustainability,” said Samantha Lenard, Cherry Street Energy’s director of sustainability. “Our model allows Terrapin to avoid the upfront cost of the solar infrastructure, and solely pay for the power generated at competitive rates to their current utility. Terrapin will offset up to 339 tons of CO2e which saves 362 acres of U.S. forest in one year and is equivalent to taking 65 passenger cars off of the road every year.”

Terrapin’s sustainability efforts, dubbed Terraprint, encompass the brewery’s consideration for its effect on the local watershed, energy use, soil quality and other resource consumption. In addition to the effects of carbon compounds when fossil fuels are consumed, the Terraprint accounts for any impact Terrapin might have on the environment and the communities it touches.

“Every decision we make at the brewery has an effect,” said Dustin Watts, Terrapin president. “Be it the local waterways we pull from, the energy each shift consumes, the soil we help build through composting, or any of the resources we draw on to manufacture, we choose to be aware of these effects and strive to keep our impact on these resources to a minimum.”

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