Central Waters Brewing is the first brewery in the state to use solar energy. Company President Paul Graham says they rebooted the facility with solar thermal panels a year and a half ago at a $105,000 price tag. With grants and tax incentives, he says they paid about 45 percent of that, out of pocket.
Graham figures the system will be paid off in six years. Depending on cost fluctuations of natural gas, he estimates $1.6 million in savings during the life of the system.
The Amherst brewer says there is intrinsic value as well, “We’re very green minded people. We’ve done this essentially because we feel it’s right.”
The solar power provides heat for the building, water used in plant operations, and brewing which is a high energy process.