Minneapolis brewers are going solar, according to Innovative Power Systems (IPS), the 25-year-old solar developer.
Eric Pasi, business development director at IPS, said Able Brewery, part of the 807 Broadway NE. complex redeveloped by Hillcrest Development, will soon get about 25 percent of its electricity from an array of solar panels on the roof.
“Able is one of the first breweries in the state to install solar,” Pasi said. “It’s a little over a $100,000 project and we installed 100 panels on the roof of the brewery, a 30 kilowatt system that according to Xcel Energy would power 3.5 average-size Minnesota homes. The [payback] should be 5-to-7 years after tax credits that amount to 30 percent of the cost. Plus depreciation. We worked with Hillcrest to finance and install the project.
Nearby Indeed Brewing operates from the renovated Solar Arts Building, which also boast a rooftop array. IPS also is working with Insight Brewery, an investor in “solar gardens” in Carver County. And there are other sun-beer deals brewing.
"Breweries consume a lot of energy, so it makes sense to reduce costs and environmental impact where they can by employing solar and other efficiency measures,” Pasi said. “Forward-thinking commercial real estate companies are looking to solar as a way to help lure energy-conscious tenants and earn a healthy return on investment.”
Solar power generates less than 2 percent of electricity nationally and in Minnesota.
However, sun-power is rising thanks to the fast-dropping cost of panels, environmental benefits, increasing popularity and a state mandate to get at least 1.5 percent of electricity from solar by 2020.
Last year, IPS installed 80,000 panels, about 20 megawatts. That's more than its first 24 years combined.

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