Two More Anheuser-Busch Plants to Add Alternative Energy

Two More Anheuser-Busch Plants to Add Alternative Energy

Anheuser-Busch is installing systems to partially power two breweries with landfill gas, brewing wastewater and solar energy.

The company's Houston brewery will purchase biogas from a nearby Allied Waste Services landfill. Combining that with a bio-energy recovery system, which turns nutrients in brewing wastewater into biogas, will provide 70 percent of the plant's energy.

Some of the landfill biogas is already being sold to a local utility, while the rest is burned off. Ameresco McCarty Energy will capture the unused biogas and funnel it to the plant through a six-mile underground pipeline.

Anheuser-Busch's Fairfield, Calif., brewery is also getting a bio-energy recovery system, which will provide 15 percent of its energy. IN addition, the plant has made an agreement with SunEdison to host a 1.18 megawatt photovoltaic solar system on its property, which will generate 3 percent of the facility's energy needs and Renewable Energy Certificates.

When the projects are completed by the end of the year, 10 of the company's 12 U.S. breweries will have alternative energy systems. Anheuser-Busch's goal is to use alternative energy to provide 15 percent of its breweries' energy by 2010.

Many manufacturing companies around the world are using or investigating alternative energy, according to a recent survey of 1,000 companies in Brazil, China, France, Germany, Italy, Korea, the United Kingdom and the United States.

About 40 percent of companies use or are looking into alternative energy, according to the Harris Interactive survey, conducted for Dow Corning. Almost the same percentage, though, does not consider alternative energy an important issue.

The largest factors driving companies to alternative energy are cost, reputation and the environment. Companies in each region surveyed differed in what was the most important driver. Reputation was the biggest factor moving companies in the Americas, cost savings was the main motivator for Europe and environmental concerns are pushing Asian companies to change how they get energy.

The survey also asked companies what they are doing about their carbon footprints, but 68 percent of the companies were not familiar with the term. Asian companies were least familiar with it, but of those that were, most consider it important and have reduction plans. A high percentage of European companies also consider their carbon footprints to be a priority and think it is important for companies to be transparent about their carbon data. Most American companies, though, said transparency and carbon reductions are not important.