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USDA-RD renewable energy grant pays off for Alaskan Company


New steam boiler now online at the Alaska Brewing Company, LLC

   ANCHORAGE, Alaska, January 17, 2013 – USDA-RD Alaska State Director Jim Nordlund today announced that the new steam boiler at the Alaskan Brewing Company (ABC) in Juneau is now in full operation thanks in part to a USDA-Rural Development Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) grant award of $448,366.

   “Renewable energy is one of the integral components to Alaska’s future.   The new steam boiler at ABC is a great example of a forward-thinking approach to harnessing a new fuel source.  Their boiler uses wet grain also known as “spent grain” that is left over from the brewing process, as the sole fuel source,” said Nordlund.  We’re happy to have played a part in this company’s innovation.

   ABC is the first craft brewery in the world to use this brewing by-product in this way, reducing the company’s fuel oil consumption in brewhouse operations by 60 – 70 percent.

   Alaskan Brewing Company’s co-founder Geoff Larson said, “We have the unique honor of brewing craft beer in this stunning and remote place. But in order to grow as a small business in Alaska and continue having a positive effect on our community, we had to take initiative to look beyond the traditional to more innovative ways of brewing.  Reducing our energy use makes good business sense, and good sense for this beautiful place where we live and play.”

   ABC expects their new spent grain steam boiler system will do away with the brewery’s use of fuel oil in the grain drying process and displace more than half of the fuel needed to create process steam in the brewhouse.  This translates to an estimated reduction in fuel oil use in brewhouse operations by more than half.  With moderate company growth, ABC anticipates a savings of almost 1.5 million gallons of oil over the next 10 years.

   REAP grants provide funding for energy audits and renewable energy development assistance.  It also provides funds to agricultural producers and rural small businesses to purchase and install renewable energy systems and make energy efficiency improvements.

   For more information on REAP grants, visit: http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/ORreap_renew_grants.html.

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