BLAINE, Minnesota – In coordination with the National Craft Brewer’s Conference being hosted in Minnesota, Invictus Brewing announced its newest beer, “1.7 Million Megawatts Summer Ale.” The beer celebrates Invictus Brewing’s new rooftop solar array and educates people that there’s still plenty of sunshine to harvest in the service territory of its electric cooperative, Connexus Energy.
The beer’s bright golden color and crisp flavor (5.0 ABV, 20 IBU) are balanced with a touch of local honey harvested from pollinator-friendly solar farms by Invictus’ beekeeping friends at Bare Honey.
“We founded Invictus Brewing with the mission of making great beer and being good stewards of our environment,” said Previn Solberg, Invictus Brewing founder and CEO. “With this beer, we’re celebrating how easy our electric cooperative, Connexus Energy, made it to go solar — and we want people to know there’s plenty of beer and sunshine to go around.”
In a recent letter to its members, Connexus Energy CEO Greg Ridderbusch and Board Chair Fran Bator wrote: “Saving costs while greening the grid, Connexus Energy is now locally harvesting over 20 megawatts, enough to power more than 2,800 homes. We also applaud members who express their commitment to greening the grid through energy conservation, investing in their own rooftop solar panels, or joining our new Renewable Energy Club. And not to worry, there is plenty left — more than 1.7 million megawatts of sunshine is delivered to our service territory most days.”
Ridderbusch provided more detail at the electric co-op’s April annual meeting, stating: “The transforming grid will be composed of many solutions, and we support our members’ innovation. And with our membership in MnSEIA, we signal to the qualified vendor community our welcome mat helping our members consider direct solar solutions. As an alternative, members may also enroll in our Renewable Energy Club, where for a nominal fee, Connexus greens all electricity delivered to your home or business.” Ridderbusch’s remarks, recorded and available online, were accompanied by maps showing the growth in rooftop solar in the co-op’s service territory from 2013 to 2022.
Connexus Energy is Minnesota’s largest electric co-op, among the 15 largest cooperative electric utilities nationwide and has been nationally recognized for its “perfect power” service reliability, grid innovation, as well as solar land-use practices. A map of Connexus Energy’s 960 square-mile service territory graces the side of the Invictus beer can. 960 sq miles multiplied by 800 watts per square meter, as calculated by futurist and clean energy investor Ramez Naam in a 2011 Scientific American article, results in the number that inspired the beer’s name. The choice of May 3 for the introduction date was chosen in a nod to President Jimmy Carter, who, in 1976, officially designated the day to celebrate solar energy.
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