Global brewing giant AB InBev has signed a contract with German renewables company BayWa re to purchase all the renewable energy needed to power its European breweries.
The Brussels-based brewer, which owns the Budweiser brand, has agreed to a 10-year virtual power purchase agreement (VPPA) for the supply of solar power from two Spanish PV projects with a total generation capacity of almost 200 MW. AB InBev will receive power from 130 MW of solar capacity, the companies said this week.
BayWa re has yet to develop and finance the solar parks, which will be built in Spain, with grid connection scheduled by March 2022. Around 250 GWh of the solar power will supply 14 AB InBev breweries throughout Western Europe. Until the new plants are ready, BayWa re will transfer green power certificates to the brewer amounting to 75 GWh of the output of the La Muela wind farm in Zaragoza, Spain.
In December 2018, AB InBev U.K. signed a deal with Lightsource BP to consume the power generated by 100 MW of solar capacity for its production operations in the United Kingdom. At the time, the company claimed that the deal was the largest unsubsidized solar power purchase agreement (PPA) in the country.
The electricity for the U.K. operations will be provided from several sites, all of which will be ready for grid connection by the end of 2020. Once connected, the deal will enable AB InBev UK to claim that the 17 million bottles and cans of Budweiser it produces each week are 100% renewable. The brewery giant says it is trying to power all of its global operations with 100% renewables by 2025.
AB InBev produces around 55 million barrels of beer per year. As soon as only renewable beer is brewed, the company will introduce a new logo to draw attention to the fact. “We rely on natural ingredients – water, hops, barley, and yeast – to produce our beers. So we know that sustainability is not just a part of our business, but at the core of it,” said Jason Warner, zone president for Europe at AB InBev.