Solar powered beer?

New London, N.H., January 24, 2011 — In addition to water, malt, hops, and yeast, brews at the Flying Goose Brew Pub & Grille in New London are getting a new ingredient: solar power.

Construction will soon be underway on a 126-panel solar power system from groSolar, a national solar company that has been installing solar for more than a decade in New England.

When completed, the solar panels will be in full view of the pub’s main dining room along with expansive views of Mount Kearsarge.

groSolar was one of five companies bidding on the project.

“The decision had to do with company experience and depth, value-added components, and price,” said Tom Mills, owner of the Flying Goose. “The hard part was choosing one from the five companies, all of which gave good, qualified proposals.”

The installation will lower the Flying Goose’s rising $24,000 annual electric bill by 25 percent with an expected Return on Investment (ROI) of five to eight years.

The solar installation is only part of the brewpub’s $250,000 renewable energy investment, which includes air sealing, insulation, kitchen air balancing, lighting, and compressor motor upgrades. The Flying Goose also just completed a 25-panel solar hot water installation from Clean REsolution and Bright Light Solar.

A 30 percent federal tax credit and New Hampshire State rebates were motivation for Mills to make the investment, which he funded with a business loan from his bank.

“The environmental benefit is significant, but we would not be making a $250,000 investment unless it made good business sense,” said Mills.

Mills also plans to use his investment as an educational tool by working with the installation companies to offer solar education seminars and providing a kiosk that shows the real-time performance of the solar power systems that will incorporate a feature provided by groSolar called “groEnergy Watch.”

“It’s truly commendable for an establishment as well known and respected as the Flying Goose to take the lead as the first solar electric powered brewery in the state,” says Jeff Wolfe, CEO, groSolar. “We look forward to a long-term partnership with Tom and his management team to help educate businesses and homeowners in the Upper Valley and across New Hampshire about the benefits of going solar.”

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