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.
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.