The Corner Brewery’s Matt Greff says going green is a good investment

    Ypsi’s Corner Brewery recently underwent a number of significant renovations, which, among other things, have made it the craft brewery with the largest solar installation this side of Colorado. To commemorate this fact, there will be an official ribbon cutting ceremony on August 29th, at 5:00 PM. The event is open to the public, and, according to Brewery owner Matt Greff, there will be ample opportunities for folks to see the solar installation, the new geothermal system, and everything else, first-hand… For those of you who are curious as to the extent of the project, according to the June 7 Arbor Brewing Company press release, “the system has a total system rating of 18 kW electric, and 64.8 kW thermal, and is expected to provide almost all of Corner Brewery’s hot water needs and up to 15% of its electricity.”

    And, for those of you who aren’t in the habit of watching Fox, here’s a little story their Detroit affiliate broadcast a few days ago.

    Fox 2 News Headlines

    In this report, they mention that the cost of the project was nearly $350,000, and that the estimated cost savings would be approximately $20,000 a year. They also say, however, that the project will likely pay for iteself in 7 years. As I didn’t understand the math, I asked Matt Greff to explain it to me. Here’s what he had to say.

    There are a lot of incentives out there that drastically reduce the original $350,000 number. The federal tax grant alone is going to reimburse us upwards of $80,000. The nice thing about having Jarett’s Diamond’s group, from U-M’s School of Natural Resources, do such an extensive study for us was that they came up with all of the ways we could get incentives (DTE, federal government, etc), and then they ran the numbers to determine our payback. And, not only do we think that we’ll save $20,000 a year on what we’re currently spending, but we also won’t have any heating/cooling expenses for our newly constructed 2,000 square foot warehouse because, of the geothermal technology that we’ve installed, so you could add another $2,000 per month in savings in what we would have been paying if we had used a traditional rooftop hvac unit for that space. All of our modeling suggests a 7 to 10 year payback….

    When asked if there was anything else he’d like for people to know about this project, Matt said the following.

    The only other thing I would add is that the various City departments we had to work with were great to work with. The Historic District Commission, the Planning Department (once we got through the initial craziness with them and their demands), the Building Department, etc. They were really great. nd we want other businesses in the community to know that doing something like this isn’t just a “feel good and do something for the environment” scenario, it actually makes great business and financial sense since the price of energy isn’t going to be coming down ever again and this gives you some long-term forecasting control over your expenses.

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      11 Comments

      1. Posted August 13, 2012 at 9:00 pm | Permalink

        Congrats to the Greffs on completing this project. I’ve been geeking out about their new (non-drafty!) windows for a few months now – they did a great job of preserving the character of the building while also going the extra mile in adding energy-efficient and renewable technology to the place. I’d be interested to know what their energy bills look like once this is all complete.

        and, if you’ll forgive the shameless plug, the City of Ypsi has also brought in a grant program that’s available to residents who are interested in Solar, Geothermal, or just plain ol’ insulation. You can get a certified energy audit for $25 if you sign up this week, plus $3k+ in incentives beyond all those sweet federal tax breaks Matt Greff mentioned. mihomeenergy.org

      2. Mike G!
        Posted August 13, 2012 at 9:21 pm | Permalink

        Man, I’m really glad you asked about the math in the payback time. I had to stop the video to go back to that part because I thought I’d misheard it. Now I’ll be able to sleep tonight, thank you.

      3. Anonymous Mike
        Posted August 14, 2012 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

        Are they bringing back the trough urinals.

      4. KKT
        Posted August 14, 2012 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

        A trough urinal powered bottling line?

        P.S. I hope this comment doesn’t make Rene Greff angry.

        http://markmaynard.com/2009/07/say-no-to-trough-urinals-in-ypsilanti/

      5. Posted August 14, 2012 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

        I will pee in the beer of the first person who brings up Rick Snyder.

      6. Edward
        Posted August 14, 2012 at 8:29 pm | Permalink

        I think that would be you, Patti. Let us know how it tastes.

      7. DickSnyder
        Posted August 14, 2012 at 8:37 pm | Permalink

        RICK SNYDER!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Now commence to peein’ teach!

      8. Bob
        Posted August 14, 2012 at 8:50 pm | Permalink

        Some jokes are entirely too obvious to bother making.

      9. DickSnyder
        Posted August 14, 2012 at 9:26 pm | Permalink

        It is amusing though how a “progressive” blog would continue to give Mr. and Ms. Greff such love after the two life long Democratic supporters donated $3,950 to a Republican candidate for Governor. Then tricky Dick turns around and appoints Mr. Greff to a committee (Liquor Control Advisory Rules Committee) where he can promote changes to benefit his business and other large scale microbrews such as Bell’s and Founders at the expense of smaller or start up microbrews. The only way many of the smaller or start up microbrews can get into bars is through a distributor’s pull. Also under Mr. Greff’s suggestion Michigan would see even more union wage, blue collar jobs leave Michigan. But it’s all good, Mr. and Ms. Greff are going to make coin off of this and tricky Dick will prolly get a few more checks thrown his way from the Greff’s come reelection time, oh, that is right he is only seeking one term……………….

        BTW, are ABC or Corner Brewery workers unionized?

      10. Posted August 15, 2012 at 10:46 am | Permalink

        Oh SNAP Edward!!! I have a feeling though that my pee would be sweet and a bit tart, just like me! :)

      11. Bob
        Posted April 29, 2014 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

        Green does not equal clean. Arbor Brewing Co. gets one of the poorest grades during recent Washtenaw County health inspections, according to Annarbor.com. Several serious violations. Dirty kitchen and crummy political affiliations. Drink up.

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