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Solar energy will be used to brew beer in Kona

Kona Brewing’s solar system will be among beer industry’s largest Sunetric to install the 229 KW photovoltaic system


Kailua-Kona, Big Island of Hawaii — Kona Brewing Company recently announced it has signed a contract with Sunetric to install a 229 kW solar energy generating system at its Kailua-Kona brewery and pub on Hawaii’s Big Island. Construction has begun on the system, and it is expected to be fully operational by April. Sunetric is the largest Hawaii-owned and operated commercial solar energy contractor.

“Going solar is a huge step for us,” said Kona Brewing Company’s President and CEO Mattson Davis. “It is something we have been working toward for a number of years, and I’m ecstatic that Sunetric is helping us make it happen. We will be the first beer production facility in Hawaii to go solar, and our system is one of the largest in the country among craft breweries. We are proud to be able to say our facility is making a contribution to easing the state’s energy problems.”

The project, a roof-mounted grid-tied photovoltaic (PV) system, is estimated to produce an average of 900 kWh of electricity each day, which will allow Kona Brewing Company nearly 60 percent offset of its current electricity usage. It will include 880 260-watt solar modules on the brewery’s rooftop space. At the entrance to the restaurant, Kona Brewing Company guests will be able to check out a real-time monitor that shows how much energy the solar system is generating. At the current commercial retail electricity rate, the system will offset more than $100,000 in Kona Brewing Company’s electricity expenditures per year.

“In the long run, the cost savings in utilizing solar power are obvious,” continued Davis. “But even more important, our system will provide improved environmental performance and reduced carbon emissions. We feel we have a responsibility to take a leadership role in establishing production methods that minimize taxing our environment. It makes economic sense and it is the right thing to do. It’s not just good business… it’s our way of life.”

Sunetric President Sean Mullen added, “Hawaii businesses are finding the use of renewable energy is not only the right choice for the environment, but for business as well. With generous federal and state tax incentives out there for businesses, along with the continual increase of electricity rates, we have seen an incredible increase of Hawaii businesses switching to solar power over the last few years. Commercial solar projects have accounted for nearly 80 percent of our business since 2008.”

PV solar energy is a clean and renewable energy source. It does not pollute or consume natural resources. Sunetric estimates that over the next 30 years Kona Brewing Company’s PV system will prevent approximately 7,730 tons of carbon dioxide emissions from entering the atmosphere annually, or about 5 million car trips to a local grocery store. The solar array offsets 16,425 barrels of oil that would otherwise be burned to make electricity during the next 30 years.

In recent months Kona Brewing Company has seen several of its environmental initiatives reach fruition. In October both of its pubs on Hawaii’s Big Island and Oahu became Certified Green Restaurants® by the Green Restaurant Association. In December the brewery made Hawaii’s first certified organic beer, Oceanic Organic Saison. With the solar project moving forward, the company has fulfilled another of its goals in becoming a sustainable business leader.

Kona Brewing Company was started in the spring of 1994 by a father and son team that had a dream to create fresh, local island brews made with spirit, passion and quality. It is a Hawaii-born and Hawaii-based craft brewery that prides itself on brewing the freshest beer of exceptional quality, closest to market. This helps to minimize its carbon footprint by reducing shipping of raw materials, finished beer and wasteful packaging materials. The company is headquartered where it began, in Kailua-Kona on Hawaii’s Big Island. It has grown into Hawaii’s largest brewery, has three restaurant sites in Hawaii and beer distribution reaching 28 states and Japan. The brewery was named the fastest growing top-50 craft brewing company in the country based on 2008 sales figures. It is the 14th largest craft brewing company in the country, posting 51 percent growth in 2008. For more information call 808-334-BREW or visit

Founded in 2004 by Sean and Beth-Ann Mullen, Sunetric specializes in photovoltaic system design and installation, including the state’s largest photovoltaic systems at Kona Commons shopping center on the Big Island and Wilcox Memorial Hospital on Kauai. Hawaii’s solar authority, Sunetric leads the way in solar energy education, installation, and investment in our future. For more information, visit

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Oct 20, 2017 / 5:15 pm



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