Spoetzl Brewery plans to add a $3 million biogas generation and wastewater treatment facility at its historic facility in Shiner, Texas. The renewable energy plant is expected to reduce the facility’s carbon emissions by more than 500 metric tons annually and eliminate 85 percent of the treatable waste components in the brewery’s wastewater. The project is scheduled for completion in early 2011.
The new facility, developed by EPS Corp., will enable Spoetzl to convert its waste products from its brewing processes into naturally produced methane gas, which will be used to fuel the boilers that create steam and hot water needed for beer production.
This will allow Spoetzl to reduce its natural gas consumption by more than 95,000 therms per year, in addition to reducing carbon emissions and amount of electricity required for processing at the city wastewater treatment plant.
Other breweries are taking a similar approach to reduce energy use. As an example, Anheuser-Busch brewery in Houston started using landfill biogas as an alternative fuel source last year, which supplies more than 55 percent of the brewery’s fuel demand.
MillerCoors’ Texas brewery is using biogas from wastewater in its boilers to cut natural gas consumption by 9.3 percent, while methane from City Brewery in LaCrosse, Wis., is being converted into clean energy to run Gundersen Lutheran hospital.
The Spoetzl Brewery also teamed up with EPS last year to implement several energy conservation initiatives, which included automating its refrigeration controls, installing high-efficiency boilers and lighting systems, and altering the sequencing of its air compressors. These efforts led to a 24 percent reduction in the brewery’s carbon emissions from energy use.