01 June 2016
In partnership with Consumers Energy and Helios Solar, Arcadia Brewing Company has seized the opportunity to participate in facilitating a more sustainable landscape by installing solar panels on the roof of the Kalamazoo Riverfront Brewery and Pub to capture and re-sell clean energy.
The system consists of 536 solar panels, manufactured by Suniva, Inc. out of Saginaw, and can produce 150,000 Watts in full sun. The system is expected to produce 185,000kWh of energy annually, equivalent to roughly 25% of the brewery and tavern’s total consumption. The clean renewable energy produced by the panels will avoid the emissions of the following pollutants: SO2: 1746.4 lbs/yr, CO2: 395,715 lbs/yr, NOx: 527 lbs/yr, High-Level Nuclear Waste: 1.27 lbs/yr (*Data comes from Consumers Energy’s disclosures on pollution.)
Arcadia Brewing Company’s inspiration to undertake the solar energy project was spurred by the Consumers Energy Experimental Advanced Renewable Program. Electricity and Renewable Energy Credits produced by the system for a period of 12 years will be sold by Consumers Energy under the EARP program and will be used to satisfy part of their 10% renewable energy requirement. Through the program, Consumers Energy expects to allocate approximately 275 kW for residential customers each month and 750kW for non-residential consumers every other month.
Helios Solar, a Kalamazoo based company led by CEO Connor Field and CFO Sam Field, was founded in 2009 with “the goal of encouraging widespread adoption of solar photovoltaic technology for electricity production throughout Michigan and the upper Midwest.” Through an agreement to lease the solar panels to Arcadia Brewing Company and expert installation, Helios Solar made participation in the program possible.
The solar panel installation adds to numerous energy conscious, sustainability initiatives that Arcadia Brewing Company implements including Bio-Fuel production, spent grain reallocation to local farmers to use as feed, water conservation, and even a car charging station installed at the Kalamazoo Riverfront Brewery and Pub.
Arcadia Brewing Company is also a proud participant in the Sustainable Brewing Program, launched in 2015 by Western Michigan University and Kalamazoo Valley Community College. The program focuses on helping future brewers find ways to minimize the environmental footprint of breweries in regards to the use of municipal water sources, wastewater treatment, and energy use.