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Waitsfield brewery to build solar canopy

Published: Apr. 16, 2021 at 8:04 AM EDT
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WAITSFIELD, Vt. (WCAX) - A brewery in Waitsfield made an early Earth Day announcement this year, committing to 50% of their electricity coming from solar power.

Lawson’s Finest Liquids says it will require a bit of work, but they’re excited. For 13 years, Sean Lawson says the brewery has been operating with environmental impacts on their mind. “Since my wife and I started Lawson’s Finest, we have been committed to green practices and reducing the impact of our business,” he said. “We invest in renewable power, recycling. We try to reduce consumption of materials in our building in every aspect.”

In 2018, a new brewery and taproom in Waitsfield meant rooftop solar panels offsetting 10% of electrical need, and electric vehicle charging stations. But now they are making a new investment. “A new solar project here at Lawson’s Finest. We are building a canopy over our remote parking lot that will include over 500 solar panels,” said Lawson. Their goal is to offset over 50% of the electricity needs at the brewery and taproom and provide 40 parking spaces. Although it’s an investment, Lawson says it will have return. “It pays for itself. In seven years is the return on the investment and after that, it will generate net income in the form of a rebate back to us on our power bill,”

Lawson’s ultimate goal is 100% of their electrical need covered by solar power. As they work toward their goal, they will go one step further, adding an additional 10 electric vehicle charging stations powered by the solar canopy. “That’ll be free and open to the public to use,” said Lawson. All steps Lawson says are progress for the greater good. “Sustainability is essential for us and we hope that the solar project will be our important contribution toward mitigating climate change.”

He says they are already looking forward to Green Up Day in May this year where they already have a team of employees ready to do some work in Waitsfield.

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