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Posted on Wed, Aug 29, 2012 : 5:58 a.m.

Ypsilanti's Corner Brewery to celebrate completion of $250,000 energy efficiency project Wednesday

By Katrease Stafford

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Milford resident John Carter, civil engineer with Power Panel, Inc., explains how the new solar panel installation works Monday afternoon on top of the Corner Brewery in Ypsilanti, 720 Norris St. The panels will provide hot water in addition to electricity for the building.

Editor's note: The spelling of Rene Greff's name has been corrected.

The Corner Brewery in Ypsilanti will be hosting a ribbon-cutting reception Wednesday to celebrate the completion and launch of its $250,000 “Green Brewery Project.” previously reported that with the installation of nearly $345,000 worth of energy-efficient devices and systems, the Arbor Brewing Company and the Corner Brewery, became Michigan’s first solar breweries.

The Corner Brewery, located at 720 Norris St., installed solar-thermal, photovoltaic, and geo-thermal technologies along with other improvements such as new windows, awnings and energy-efficient chiller equipment.

The $95,000 Arbor Brewing Company project included a 2.4 solar photovoltaic array, 300 solar thermal collector tubes and a high efficiency tankless water heater system. They also switched to LED lighting in the facility.

The system is expected to offset gas usage by 40 to 50 percent and electricity usage by 15 to 20 percent. Construction was completed at the end of June at the Ann Arbor location at 114 E. Washington St. with the installation of a DTE net meter that will track the amount of energy being generated.

Owners Matt Greff and Rene Greff received approval Sept. 13, 2011 from Ypsilanti’s Historic District Commission to install solar panels at the Corner Brewery, which falls within the historic district of the city.

The rooftop clean energy system powering the Ypsilanti brewery is provided by Power Panel Inc. and the Greffs said it is the largest-capacity solar installation of any craft brewery East of Colorado.

Rene Greff said 90 percent of the system is up and running and she said it might be completely up tomorrow.

The system is expected to provide almost all of Corner Brewery’s hot water needs and up to 15 percent of its electricity.

This will save the brewery $20,000 a year, which nearly is 50 percent of its energy bills.

At Wednesday’s ceremony, which is taking place from 5 to 7 p.m., Congressman John Dingell is expected to speak. Ypsilanti Mayor Paul Schreiber also will be in attendance along with other city officials.

“Congressman Dingell will be there and will be making remarks on the role federal dollars play in these types of projects,” Renee Greff said.

The couple identified a number of financial resources and incentives to offset the installation costs including a $20,000 grant from the Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority, a $10,000 interest-free loan from the city, a 30 percent tax credit from the federal government and various incentives from DTE Energy.

Greff said a tour of the facility will be given and the project team will be on-hand to explain the technology and answer questions.

Katrease Stafford covers Ypsilanti for her at or 734-623-2548 and follow her on twitter.



Mon, Sep 10, 2012 : 11:27 p.m.

Haven't the dissenters heard of early adopters. These are the people who pay more at the beginning of a business cycle that pave the way for the rest of the people who won't budge. What about all the people who bought expensive iPads and iPhones before they were perfected? I guess the people who don't like the advancement of the Corner Brewery called in their comments from their rotary dial phones.


Thu, Aug 30, 2012 : 2:52 a.m.

This is a complete joke. Why does this company have or want solar panels? Is electricity hard to come by in Michigan? Have they asked themselves why they need them? There is a reason for the massive waste do taxpayer dollars funneled into failing solar companies - they are unnecessary. The market DOES NOT NEED another solution in search of a problem. Good luck with a business that wastes huge dollars on eco fashion.


Wed, Aug 29, 2012 : 11:22 p.m.

But yet again they get a poor health , published August 29th...


Wed, Aug 29, 2012 : 11:20 p.m.

Does the SyStem work in case of a Black out? And it is high time for the city/State pass a laws to make public housing and buildind with Solar panel NOW>


Wed, Aug 29, 2012 : 9:41 p.m.

What, no Rick Snyder visit?


Wed, Aug 29, 2012 : 4:33 p.m.

The numbers here are HORRIBLE. Was the solar array $95K, $250K or $345K? Which of the above costs gives the $20/year offset? - What is the payback on the investment? WHY is ANN ARBOR's DDA paying the freight for an installation in Ypsilanti? Do I get a discount on beer, since I helped pay for this, in both my Federal taxes and AA city taxes? Do the Chinese get an equal discount, since they assumed the debt that the US went into to fund this? ...and the obvious questions?: Does this only make economic sense for the Griffs if the taxpayers and Chinese foot a large chunk of the bill? Why is Dingle there again?

Craig Lounsbury

Wed, Aug 29, 2012 : 7:20 p.m.

I filled out a form with the state and my first 6 pack came yesterday.

Craig Lounsbury

Wed, Aug 29, 2012 : 4 p.m.

what happens when the roof needs to be fixed or replaced?


Wed, Aug 29, 2012 : 1:24 p.m.

Not bad, only a 10 year ROI. Barring any system problems, they should be good by 2023.

Jon Carlson

Wed, Aug 29, 2012 : 11:08 a.m.

Fantastic- Matt and Renee!