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Melbourne’s oldest indie brewery’s green future

Solar panels on the roof at 3 Ravens. This isn’t the final layout of the panels unfortunately!!!

Thornbury’s indie craft beer brewery 3 Ravens is looking towards a greener future with the installation of a new solar system – the first project of its kind in Darebin, with funding enabled by Darebin City Council.

The solar system and cool roof* will reduce 3 Ravens’ CO2 emissions by 106 tonnes or equivalent of the emissions produced by 23 cars or 12 local houses every year.

The new 73.6kW solar system and cool roof is not just good for the environment – the new installations, designed by Regenerate Engineering, are projected to save 3 Ravens $21,000 per year on energy costs.  

This is the very first uptake of government-enabled Environmental Upgrade Finance in the Darebin region, with funding provided through Sustainable Australia Fund in conjunction with Darebin City Council.

3 Ravens was established in 2003 and the warehouse style building houses a micro-brewery, brewery bar and a co-working space, CoBrew. Their general manager Nathan Liascos said the new solar system would better align with the vision and goals of the business by increasing renewable energy generation and reducing their carbon footprint.

“With our manufacturing processes being heavily reliant on electricity inputs, sharp increases in electricity costs in recent years have made it very difficult to effectively manage our costs of production. In a competitive industry such as brewing, we have had to absorb energy increases to remain competitive, which isn’t sustainable for our business,” Nathan said.

3 Ravens’ head brewer Murray Robinson (left) and production manager Bill Armstrong

“Besides the operational cost benefits, this project will apply a very strong green stamp on our operation, a valuable asset in the coming years in one of the most brand-identity driven sectors, where environmental performance can strongly endear and engage the public in their choices. It also underpins another very exciting and revolutionary environmental project that we are looking to implement in the near future.”

Sustainable Australia Fund CEO Scott Bocskay said the finance allows a commercial or agricultural property owner to receive funds to undertake upgrade works that improve their building’s environmental performance.

“These fixed-rate, long-term loans of up to 20 years cover up to 100 per cent of the capital needed for energy efficient upgrades and are repaid through the property owner’s Darebin City Council rates,” he said.

“Because of these unique terms, businesses like 3 Ravens don’t need any upfront capital and have more money in their bank account from month to month thanks to the utility cost savings, which is great for business. Environmental upgrade finance will hopefully allow many more businesses in the local area to save on energy costs while also cutting their carbon emissions.”

Find more about the Sustainable Australia Fund here

Sustainable Australia Fund is Australia’s leading provider of Environmental Upgrade Finance. Originally established by the City of Melbourne in 2002, in 2019 the Fund was significantly recapitalised and scaled, through a partnership with Bank Australia, to drive environmental upgrades across Australia.

* cool roof is one that has been designed to reflect more sunlight and absorb less heat than a standard roof. This reduces the amount of heat transferred into the building below, keeping it at a more constant temperature, reducing reliance on cooling.

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