Renewable Brews

Frederick won’t shut about this warehouse renovation he’s planning. It sounds cool and all, but he’s forever up to something of this ilk. If I got excited at every little project he undertook, I’d never manage to draw breath.

Still, this one does sound particularly cool. He’s transforming an old factory in the industrial zone into a sourdough bakery and craft brewery, which is going to be run on 100% renewables. There’s heaps of room for PV panels on the rooftop, and Frederick plans to take advantage of that to power an epic commercial solar system. Melbourne, you’d best be making room for one more artisanal bread and craft beer operation.

From what I’m told, running a place like this entirely off the grid is not only about the generating capacity of the solar rig (although that’s a pretty big part of it, obviously). Having appliances that don’t use as much power as conventional ones is important, too – especially at the large-scale level of all things commercial. LED high bay lighting, for example, is an alternative to traditional high bay lighting, and uses significantly less energy. That means it doesn’t juice out the available solar energy as quickly.

I have to say, the idea of running entirely from onsite rooftop solar does seem ambitious. I’m assuming that no small amount of power is needed to run the kind of machinery used in commercial-scale brewing and bread making. I could be wrong, though – this is all speculation on my part. Frederick surely knows more about it than I do; after all, he used to own that brewpub in Wellington. So I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt.

He’s been on about this state government scheme, too… something about assisting businesses in investing in energy-efficient infrastructure. He claims he’s sat down with his accounts guy, and together they’ve calculated that this makes it all financially feasible.

All I can say is that, if anyone can pull this off, Frederick can. He’s commercially savvy, makes a mean loaf of sourdough and knows his IPA.

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