Local brewery owners are changing the way they do business. Some have decided to tap into solar energy and it’s saving them money down the line.

Inside of the Civil Life Brewery in south city owner Jake Hafner is doing what he’s always wanted. To run his own business, he also wanted to make sure it was green. He figured installing 104 solar panels on the roof of his brewery’s old warehouse was a no brainer. StraightUp Solar put them in, they also installed a system at Urban Chestnut Brewery in midtown.

“My mother was the driving force behind it I remember growing up in the 70′s she would take us to different places to see where there was a solar panels to heat hot water,” said owner Jake Hafner. “The panels went up in August and currently we get 30 to 40 percent of our electrical needs from our solar panel so we have a 25 kilowatt system.”

“It’s a staple for them saying that they are rooted in this community and they’re part of a sustainability movement.” said John Hulse of Straight Up Solar.

Hafner says the $100,000 panels costs about $10,000 after government incentives and discounts. According to Straight Up Solar, installations jumped more than 3,000 percent for residential and commercial businesses since 2010.

“Everybody tries to do what they can and in the end we can spur new innovations and technologies and hopefully release some of our dependence on oil and in our case coal,” said Hafner.

Straight Up Solar says the panels take anywhere between 5 to 7 days to install.

In two years time, the number of customer-sited solar installations in Ameren Missouri’s service territory has grown from 19 to more than 300.”


Posted on: 4:39 pm, March 1, 2012, by Shawndrea Thomas, updated on: 09:09am, March 5, 2012

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