March 1999 - The New Belgium Brewing Company, Inc., of Fort Collins, Colorado, announced that it will buy 100% wind energy to power the brewery's operations. New Belgium, a brewer of specialty beers, which include Fat Tire Amber Ale, has entered into an agreement with Fort Collins Utilities to purchase the wind energy at a premium price for 10 years. The entire 70-person staff of New Belgium voted to purchase the wind power even though the additional cost will diminish the size of their bonuses.
To supply the New Belgium contract, a third wind turbine, rated at 660 kW, will be added at the Platte River Power Authority wind site near Medicine Bow, Wyoming. Two 600-kW turbines are already supplying 520 Fort Collins residents and 12 businesses participating in the utility's Wind Power Pilot Program.
The turbine will produce about 1.8 million kWh of electricity per year, offsetting more than 4 million pounds of carbon dioxide emissions. Before subscribing to the wind energy program, New Belgium investigated ways to recover some of the CO2 that is a natural by-product of the fermentation process. However, by purchasing wind energy and thus displacing an equivalent amount of coal generation, the company discovered that it could decrease CO2 production by over six times the amount that would have been captured with a CO2 recovery system.
News Article - Colorado brewer puts 'green' beer on tap
New Belgium Contact: Greg Owsley, (970) 221-0524
FCLP Contact: Lori Clements-Grote (970) 221-6396