Sierra Nevada taps waste-to-energy technologies as a way to close operational loops and demonstrate responsible brewing practices.
Sierra Nevada operates breweries in Chico, California, and in Mills River, North Carolina. While the Chico facility has been in operation since 1980, the Mills River brewery didn’t break ground until 2012. Both facilities operate anaerobic digesters for treating brewery effluent water. Each facility uses the biogas produced from the digesters a little bit differently. In Chico, the biogas is used to offset natural gas production for use in its boilers. The Mills River digester is also used in the boilers but is also being fed into two 200-kilowatt microturbines from Capstone of Chatsworth, California, which will generate electricity to power the operation.
McKay says the first anaerobic digester was installed in Chico in 2002, well before the technology had gained traction in the United States. The digester…
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