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Taste The Sunshine: Solar-Powered Cider

Here at Brothers Drinks we are soaking up the sun to power our Shepton Mallet site! Home to our beloved brands like Babycham, Compton Orchard Cider, Mallets Cider, and the Glastonbury-favourite, Brothers Cider.

A massive 317kW, 772-solar panel system is now installed here at the cider mill, where it will directly supply the presses with clean energy. The system has been supplied by Bristol-based renewable energy specialist Solarsense, which also provided solar panels at Worthy Farm itself! Plugged in at the start of June, this system is set to pay for itself in under three years.

Founded by the Showering family, who have been crafting cider in the area since 1658, Brothers Drinks first made a splash at Glastonbury festival in 1995 and after demands from festival goers, they decided to market it to pubs and supermarkets too whilst remaining a staple at the West Holts Field bar.

This solar panel project could be the first of many, showcasing the Showering brothers' commitment to sustainability. Alongside this amazing installation we have also cut down on water use, innovated recycling methods (even recycling the backing from production labels) and achieved a zero-to-landfill policy. With 150 acres of orchard just five miles away, the company also offsets its carbon emissions and boosts biodiversity!

Matthew Showering, Director, said:

“Our family have been making cider in this area for more than 360 years and our legacy drives us to put sustainability at the core of our business – we are doing everything we possibly can to improve our environmental performance. Installing solar panels has always been an important element of this and we are delighted to see it becoming a reality today. As well as reducing our impact on the environment, producing our own energy will help us to stay competitive and continue to make great-tasting cider.”

Stephen Barrett, Managing Director of Solarsense, said:

“We were delighted to have the opportunity to provide solar energy for such a well-known brand and Brothers Drinks have been a real pleasure to work with. The installation is a blueprint for how solar should be done: they have maximised their roof space and included features that will help to future-proof the system and make it easy to maintain. It’s clear that they are serious about sustainability and we are proud to be part of that story.”

Before the solar panels were installed, the team revamped the roof to ensure it lasts as long as the panels, which have a 20+ year lifespan. The system includes the latest SolarEdge technology, connecting it to the fire alarm for automatic shutdown if needed, and features permanent edge protection for easy maintenance.

About Solarsense

Solarsense specialises in the design, supply, installation and maintenance of solar panels and other renewable energy technologies. It has successfully completed over 20,000 installations, powering some of the UK’s leading organisations.

Visit the Solarsense website for more information.

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