We now live in an era that scientists have dubbed the anthropocene which recognizes that humans are, by a far, the single largest influence on the planet. There is no longer any place on Earth that is unaffected by human activity and every measure of ecological health is in decline.

The US is less than 5% of the world population but is responsible for nearly 20% of the world’s energy consumption according to the US Energy Information Agency. Most of the energy Americans use is not clean energy and comes from dirty sources like coal, natural gas, and oil.

For Suspended’s new home in Baltimore we’re explored onsite solar PV (photo voltaic) and solar hot water to help power our operations. We have about 10,000 square feet (sf) of roof space available to us which could support an estimated 25kW array.

Brewery Solar Array

For some context on the size of our array, take a look at the examples below borrowed from Tesla’s Powerwall webpage.

Typical Household Electrical Consumption

Typical Household Electrical Consumption Courtesy of Tesla.com

In the meantime we’ve switched our electricity supplier to Direct Energy. Now one megawatt hour of clean, renewable power will be purchased for every megawatt hour of conventional power we use at the brewery.

We’re a very small team as have hands full with getting up and running, but have carbon neutrality as a very high priority item. As soon as possible we will move forward with onsite renewables.

Onsite solar has many benefits beyond providing green power. 

  • Ultra-violet (UV) light from the sun heavily erodes a roof. Solar panels are designed to absorb as much of this damaging light as possible.
  • While solar panels are protecting a roof from UV light (and turning it into useful clean, renewable energy!), it’s also taking the heat load off of the building, making the need to cool the building much less. In the winter time, the panel are engineered and positioned to keep snow off of them; thus, the snow that would otherwise collect on a building (or home) is no longer there, making extra work for the heating system to heat the home.
  • Finally, having solar onsite reduces the energy demand on the grid. In other words it keeps the utility company from having to expand the grid, or build supplemental plants to keep up with growing demand.

The health of our planet–and thus our species and thousands of other species–requires swift and intelligent actions to halt and mitigate that severe damages we’ve already caused. We’ll do as much as we can, as fast as we can to refine our operations and lessen our impact. We hope you’ll join us in our ecological pursuits and for a pint and some good coffee.