First For Texas: Renowned Beverage Distributor Goes Solar
August 28, 2018
Brown Distributing Company teamed up with Freedom Solar Power to install a massive 481-kilowatt roof-mount system on its facility, making Brown the first beverage distribution company in Texas to “go green” with solar panels.
Comprised of 1,458 high-efficiency SunPower® panels, Brown Distributing’s new solar array will pay for itself within four and a half years, save the company nearly $2 million over the next 25 years, and slash utility bills by an average of $4,300 per month.
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Brown Distributing is located on a 30-acre facility northeast of downtown Austin at 8711 Johnny Morris Rd. The building features 125,000 square feet of climate controlled warehouse space and 9,482 square feet of draught product refrigerated storage, as well as Brown Distributing’s corporate offices and fleet of more than 420 vehicles.
“Solar is an obvious choice when it comes to the financial benefit, but it’s even more significant given the positive environmental impact,” says Laurie Brown, vice president of Brown Distributing. “We take great pride in ensuring that our operations are environmentally conscious, and we have a strong commitment to protecting and keeping our local communities clean.”
Brown Distributing is a partner of Austin Energy’s Load Cooperative and GreenChoice® programs, and the company recycles more than 200,000 lb. of waste annually including paper, cardboard, plastic, aluminum, glass, and pallets.
Freedom Solar installs turnkey residential and commercial solar projects across Texas, in cities and towns located in both regulated and deregulated markets.
Bret Biggart, CEO of Freedom Solar Power, says: “After 2019, the current federal tax credit of 30 percent begins to decrease. By 2022, it will be down to just 10 percent. That should be a huge incentive for more forward-thinking, smart commercial business owners like Brown Distributing Company to act quickly.”
Brown Distributing is the Austin market leader for sales and service and prides itself in giving back to the community. The company is committed to integrating new and innovative ways to grow and prosper, and its new solar array will produce 658,014 kilowatt-hours of electricity annually.
The reduction in greenhouse gas emissions appropriated by Brown Distributing’s new solar array is equivalent to 171 tons of waste being recycled instead of landfilled annually or 105 passenger vehicles being removed from the roads each year, according to estimates by the Environmental Protection Agency.
In addition to selling a large variety of Anheuser-Busch InBev products (the Belgian beer maker that brews Budweiser and Bud Light), Brown Distributing also supplies an assortment of domestic, craft, import, and non-alcoholic brands.
Biggart says: “Last year Anheuser-Busch announced it would be 100 percent powered by renewable energy by 2025. The proliferation of solar in commercial business is becoming a movement, and it’s one of many tipping points in the emerging acceptance of solar as the dominant energy source of the 21st century.”
“On behalf of Brown Distributing, we’re proud to have made the initial leap toward a more sustainable future for Texas’ beverage distribution industry. Freedom Solar was the perfect company to help us navigate our transition to solar power, and their team made the process seamless for us from start to finish,” says Brown.
Freedom Solar installs turnkey residential and commercial solar projects across Texas, with offices in Austin, Houston, San Antonio, and Dallas/Fort Worth. In 2017, Freedom Solar installed more than 4 megawatts of solar capacity in the state, including more than 435 residential and 22 commercial projects ranging from 20 to 245 kilowatts.
Since it was founded, Freedom Solar has completed thousands of Texas residential and commercial projects for clients including Office Depot, Whole Foods, Lake Flato Architects, Ballroom Marfa, The University of Texas at Austin, and CubeSmart, among others.