It's not just beer as usual at
Arbor Brewing Company
tonight. The brewery will be hosting a ribbon cutting for its newly implemented solar thermal and solar photovoltaic (PV) system. Photo boards showing the system's components will be on display.
The $95,000 cost was offset by a $20,000 grant from the Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority's Energy Conservation grant program, various tax credits, and incentives from DTE.
The system has a 2.4 kW solar photovoltaic array (visible from the roof of the parking structure across the street), 300 solar thermal collector tubes, and a high-efficiency tankless water heater system. Other savings will be realized from CFL and LED lighting and the installation of low-flow sprayers and occupancy sensors. It is expected that gas and electricity usage will decline by up to 40% and 15%, respectively. The project cost will be recouped in five years, according to Rene Greff, co-owner of Arbor Brewing Company.
A $250,000 project showcasing solar-thermal, photovoltaic, and geo-thermal technologies as well as new windows, awnings and energy-efficient chiller equipment is still underway at Corner Brewery
, Arbor Brewing Co.'s sister brewery in Ypsilanti. A ribbon cutting is scheduled for August 29.
To the best of his knowledge, says Jarett Diamond, the company's sustainability director. "This is the largest installation of a solar panel array for a craft brewery east of Colorado." New Belgium and Sierra Nevada also have large solar arrays, but those breweries make hundreds of thousands of barrels every year, whereas Corner Brewery does under 10,000, Diamond says. "Relative to the next step up, this is very significant for the size of the brewery we're looking at."
Energy stats and savings will be available at a later date on Arbor Brewing's website, Diamond says. "The idea being this will validate our projections and demonstrate to the public at large that renewable energy is feasible, cost effective, and can work well in Michigan."
Source: Rene Greff, co-owner, Arbor Brewing Co.; Jarett Diamond, sustainability director, Arbor Brewing Co.
Writer: Tanya Muzumdar