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Office: (734)340-6793   Mobile: (734)678-7620


YPSILANTI, MI – ANN ARBOR: Local brewery owners Matt and Rene Greff are breaking new ground for Michigan breweries as solar installations at their two breweries come on line this summer. The Arbor Brewing Company Brewpub in Ann Arbor became Michigan’s first solar brewery when it flipped the switch on a new system comprised of a 2.4 kW solar photovoltaic array, 300 solar thermal collector tubes and a high-efficiency tankless water heater system to supplement the heat from the collector tubes when necessary.

These big ticket investments were combined with smaller improvements like switching to CFL and LED lighting and installing low-flow sprayers and occupancy sensors.

The project grew out of the Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority’s (A2 DDA) Energy Conservation Grant Program which provided free energy audits and 50% project rebates (up to $20,000) to downtown businesses that implemented audit recommendations to become more energy efficient. ABC owner Matt Greff worked with Ann Arbor DDA Energy Programs Director David Konkle as well as a consulting team from the University of Michigan’s School of Natural Resources and the Environment led by Jarett Diamond. Together they were able to identify a number of financial resources and incentives to help offset the installation cost of the system including the $20,000 grant from the DDA, a $10,000 interest-free loan from the city, a 30% tax credit from the federal government, and various incentives from DTE.

The couple’s Corner Brewery in Ypsilanti also recently completed its own $250,000 Green Brewery Project which includes solar-thermal, photovoltaic, and geo-thermal technologies along with other improvements like new windows and awnings and energy-efficient chiller equipment. The system has with a total system rating of 18 kW electric, and 64.8 kW thermal. It is believed to be the largest-capacity solar installation of any craft brewery East of Colorado and is set to go online later this month.

According to Greff the projects, which took over two years to complete, were worth every bit of effort that went into them. “It feels really good to know that we were able to make changes that are as good for the environment as they are for the bottom line. We couldn’t have done it without the expertise and assistance we received from our many partners and we hope to be able to assist other small businesses interested in improving their energy efficiency.”

Corner Brewery will be hosting a ribbon-cutting reception to celebrate the launch of the new system on Wednesday, August 29 from 5-7 at 720 Norris St, Ypsilanti.  The event is free and open to the public.