Brewery commits to wind power

New Belgium will buy equivalent of it's electricty use

Mar 1, 1999 - New Belgium Brewing Co. of Fort Collins, Colo. became the largest private consumer of wind power last week with its commitment to buy the equivalent of the brewery's electricity use from wind power.


This will make New Belgium the first wind-powered brewery in America. A 660-kW wind turbine will be built next fall at the Platte River Power Authority wind site near Medicine Bow, Wyo. to support New Belgium's subscription to the program. The turbine will produce about 1.8 million kWh of electricity per year, which is about the amount of electricity that New Belgium will consume in the coming year.

New Belgium owners Kim Jordan and Jeff Lebesch did not make this financial commitment alone. Rather, the choice of wind power was presented to the entire New Belgium staff and, although its additional cost would diminish the size of their bonuses (which are paid out on costs-per-barrel), the 70-person vote was unanimously in favor.