Brewery to Use Wind Power for Making Beer

A brewery in Utah will pay a 40 percent premium to obtain wind power for its new pub.

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, US, 2002-01-25 [] Uinta Brewing Company of Salt Lake City will purchase 255,000 kWh of wind power each year through Utah Power’s ‘Blue Sky’ green power option, at a premium price of 3¢/kWh. The craft brewery will use only wind energy for its new 26,000 square foot Uinta Brewhouse Pub that opened this month. “This is the right thing to do for a business that sees itself as environmentally responsible,” says president Will Hamill. “Customers will likely be drawn to a product that is brewed by 100 percent wind power,” and he cites a recent Gallup opinion poll that shows 91 percent of Americans favor investments in wind, solar and other clean energy sources. “We hope to encourage other local business to do the same by demonstrating that running a successful business and protecting the environment go hand-in-hand,” he adds. “Although wind power costs a little bit more, we feel that the environmental benefits outweigh the costs.” Uinta becomes the first major business in the state to source all of its electricity from wind, and becomes Utah’s largest single user of the source. The company had $2.5 million in revenue last year and does not plan to raise the price of its products, but will increase market share by promoting its environmentally friendly image through inserts in six-packs of beer. “Salt Lake City is behind green power purchases and is thrilled with Uinta Brewing Company’s commitment to run entirely on wind-generated electricity,” says mayor Rocky Anderson. “Their purchase is in alignment with our ‘Salt Lake City Green’ program.” The Salt Lake City Green program was launched last August in advance of the city’s role as host of the Winter Olympic Games. “Uinta Brewing Company is committed to the environment and our local community,” adds company founder Hamill. “We donate to community organizations and recycle everything we can; running our new brewery and pub on 100 percent wind-generated electricity is the next logical step.” “Utah Power launched the Blue Sky Wind Power program in 2000 to give our customers a choice in how their energy is produced and to allow them to participate in creating a demand for renewable energy resources,” explains the utility’s Bill Landels. “We congratulate Uinta Brewing Company on their commitment to the environment through participating in Blue Sky.” Compared with electricity generated by fossil fuels, Uinta’s purchase of wind energy will displace the emission of 357,120 pounds of carbon dioxide each year, and is equivalent to not driving an automobile for 348,400 miles each year or planting 71 acres of trees each year, according to the Utah Wind Power Campaign of the non-profit group Land & Water Fund of the Rockies. The power comes from PacifiCorp wind turbines in Wyoming. The Portland company owns Utah Power. The Blue Sky program allows customers to buy renewable energy in blocks of 100 kWh for an additional $2.95 per month. The current retail price for electricity is 7c/kWh. Less than 3,000 customers are enrolled in Blue Sky, but last year the program moved to seventh spot on the top-ten list of utility green pricing programs, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Uinta Brewing is named after the highest mountain range in Utah, and was established in 1993. The company has brewed many award-winning beers, including the Cutthroat Pale Ale and the Kings Peak Porter.
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