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Thursday, December 24, 2009

Grumpy Troll brew pub will generate solar power

From an article by Gena Kittner in the Wisconsin State Journal:

Photovoltaic panels installed last week on the roof of Mount Horeb's Grumpy Troll will soon enable the bar and restaurant to harness solar power to fuel everything from beer-brewing to pizza-making.

"A lot of the energy will be used for the brewery, as well as everything else that we do," said owner Doug Welshinger, adding the beer mash itself will still be boiled using natural gas.

Once the switch is flipped , probably by the end of the month, Welshinger said the business will use about 95 percent of the electricity generated by the solar panels. "We do consume a lot of energy, there's no question about it," he said.

The Mount Horeb Utilities will purchase all of the energy generated by the 38 solar electric panels - most at 30 cents a kilowatt hour - about three times the rate that a business customer would pay for the same electricity.

The Grumpy Troll, at 105 S. Second St., will continue to purchase all of its electricity from the local utility at the normal rate, but will receive a monthly bill credit for the green power generated by the panels, helping to offset its total energy costs.

The higher rate for sending electricity to the utility is part of an incentive program offered by Sun Prairie-based WPPI Energy, which includes Mount Horeb Utilities as a member. The higher rate will last about 10 years, said Ann Rodriguez, spokeswoman with WPPI Energy.

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