The hot sun is now keeping beer cold at Kangaroo Valley watering hole The Friendly Inn.
The iconic institution on Moss Vale Road has shelled out $110,000 for a massive solar array that sits in the back paddock to the rear of the pub.
Community manager at the Kangaroo Valley Chamber of Tourism and Commerce Natalie Harker said the pub's initiative built on the community's existing green credentials.
"We're one of the first plastic free villages in NSW and the pub is following through on that," she said.
To offset the sharp rise in power bills, the hotel's management initially explored placing solar panels on the roof, but there was not enough space on the tin roof.
Attention then turned to the pub's ample space behind the beer garden, that stretches to the Kangaroo River, as a suitable site to power the venue.
Now installed, the 66.12 kilowatt array will cut the pub's emissions by 91.2 tonnes of CO2 per year, by providing power throughout the venue during daylight hours.
Ms Harker said the pub management's next step was to look at installing a battery to ensure the sun's rays can power the business throughout the evening.
The pub paid for the array itself, without significant government assistance, and Ms Harker said the business was motivated to do this as energy bills continued to rise and as the owners committed to additional green initiatives, such as the thriving community garden.
"It's a commitment to the future of the pub," she said.
After a horror year in 2022 when heavy rains caused landslips that closed off the roads in and out of the village, Ms Harker said the community was bouncing back.
"We're back in business."
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