Australians encouraged to ‘give a XXXX’ as brewer opts for solar


XXXX Brewery, through its owner Lion, has signed a power purchase agreement (PPA) to satisfy 100% of the electricity needs for the 144-year-old XXXX brewery at Milton in Brisbane with renewable energy procured from the $130 million Woolooga Solar Farm.

The solar PPA adds to a 690 kW rooftop solar array installed at the brewery in 2019.

The Woolooga Solar Farm, being developed near Gympie in Queensland’s southeast by oil giant bp’s renewables joint venture with UK solar company Lightsource, has already commenced generation and is expected to achieve full production early this year.

Lion, whose latest XXXX brand campaign asks Australians to “give a XXXX” about the world and environment, said the offtake agreement will see the company reach its target of 100% purchased renewable electricity by 2025 in Australia, two years ahead of schedule.

Lion Sustainability Director Justin Merrell said the deal also means the company is Australia’s first certified large-scale carbon neutral brewer.

“All of our beer produced here, up to 250 million litres annually, is now made using 100% renewable electricity,” he said.

“XXXX is encouraging all Australians to ‘Give a XXXX’ about the planet for the benefit of our environment, and for beer. Today’s announcement is another great example of how we’re investing in climate solutions to reduce our footprint.”

Merrell said the agreement will cut the brewer’s carbon emissions by an estimated 138,000 tonnes.

The renewable energy deal is the latest in a series of PPAs announced by the Queensland government. Earlier this week state-owned generator Stanwell signed an agreement to supply biscuit manufacturer Arnott’s Group with more than 68 GWh of renewable energy as part of a long-term PPA.

The Woolooga Solar Farm is expected to generate approximately 438 GWh of solar power annually.

Image: Lightsource bp

That came just days after state government-owned CS Energy finalised a deal with global investment manager AMP Capital which will see four major shopping centres in Queensland’s southeast source 100% of their electricity needs from renewable energy supplied by the 162 MW Columboola Solar Farm.

Queensland Deputy Premier Steven Miles said he expects more renewable energy PPAs to be announced in coming weeks as part of the state government’s Energy and Jobs Plan, which lays out a strategy to reduce household and business electricity emissions by 96% by 2040.

The Queensland government is aiming to supply 80% of the state’s electricity demand from hydro power, wind and solar farms by 2035.

“An increasing number of companies want to decarbonise their operations,” he said. “The pipeline of renewable projects in the Queensland Energy and Jobs Plan means we will continue to see more and more companies make the transition and lower emissions.”

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