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Friday, August 1, 2008

Doubly cool: solar panels powering a microbrewery

A reader sends along this new look at the Lucky Labrador Beer Hall in Northwest Portland.

Comments (16)

That dog'll hunt.

Yeah, and check out all the green features of the Hopworks Brewery on Powell.


The beer's good too.

It sure is an ugly box though. I wonder how many lovely old homes were on that lot before that zero set back box was built?

The taxpayers are pleased to provide this service to a private business.

I heard that the Old Market Pub & Brewery in Garden Home is putting a huge solar system in also.

This will become less common in 2009 I would assume. After Dec. 31, 2008 the federal tax credit for commercial structures falls from 30% of cost to 10%, making this stuff less viable financially. That is, until the Oregon Energy Trust up their ante to compensate.

Which old homes are you talking about, John Benton? Both the Lucky Lab in NW and the Hop Works buildings are operating in older, existing structures. They were extensively renovated, but the structures are older.

I wonder how many lovely old homes were on that lot before that zero set back box was built?

Actually, it's an old building, at least according to this. And the zoning has been industrial for as long as I've been here.

To the contrary, the neighboring CF properties will have the opposite happen - industrial land will soon convert to high-rise boutique condos.

Curses, Roamsedge. Now Jack will have to censor me because I'm repeating.

They're thermal solar panels that heat water - I've got 9 of 'em hanging off my south-facing deck.

I imagine they'll help with the mashing and sparging and preheating for the boil - all hot-water intensive.

Why not?

I got you all beat. I installed my four solar panels in 1976, still working. Did it because of all the taxbreaks by the state and feds back then, and part of my consciousness and career. Also in the late 70's designed a residence with sixteen panels that heated water and space with salt storage system operated with computers. (by the way the computer system failed the first six months-a lot of money spent to maintain the computer systems-sounds like now with the state and city) Again, tax breaks. Then, when the tax breaks decreased or ended the solar industry went flat or less. Active solar systems aren't financial viable without tax breaks then or even now.

I chuckle with the green agenda, and all the hype because its like living the 70's again. It's like the proponents think they have discovered this whole new world. But the economics are somewhat getting better.


Mine are from '76 with the tax rebates too. I removed them from my old house in '83 and installed them (minus one so they'd fit) on the present one in '85. I heat my spa and pool (just an above-ground one, mind you), and have a 500 gallon storage tank where I pre-heat DHW and from which I pump hot water to a big water/air heat exchanger in the return air of my gas furnace. The juice for the pumps, controllers and valves costs next to nothing and, as I'm sure you know, free hot water is much more comfortable than hot water you've gotta pay for.

PV's are next for me when the cost comes down. Sooner if the government figures out that a good way to help wean us from foreign oil would be to make PV's really affordable for everyone. It's a subsidy with substance. Probably politically impossible right now, but becoming less so by the minute. The prospect of pumping water heated by the sun with electricity generated by the sun is one I find absolutely delightful!

Solve the battery/storage puzzle for vehicles (and solar and wind) and stand back!

To those who are shocked by any of this coming from me I say BOO!.

Big oil has been subsidized totally, like, forever. So level the economic playing field -- either give other energies as much head start, or, my way, take away from Big Oil all the tax give-aways. Coal and nuclear, too.

I haven't heard many stories about financing solar cell structures and wind generators in partnership, at half the cost ... between neighbors, (erected along the property line ?) ... sharing the electricity generated. etc.

"Big oil has been subsidized totally..."

"Big Oil" pays about 5x more in federal taxes than what they get in subsidy. The solar industry? Not so much.

Chris, you are about right. In years past if you designed passive solar sun spaces, solariums (call it what you want) the Oregon tax refund was $10,000 in 1976 dollars. Clients used them as sitting rooms, attachments to the living room or family room, studies, offices, you name it. In many cases it more than paid for the actual cost of that component in a house. It was a rip-off for the other taxpayers. In this case a 100% or more return on investment certainly exceeds the oil subsidizes.

There were other very questionable "solar subsidizes" that were far beyond their benefits. This one negative aspect of government intruding into new or questionable technologies before their time. For instance, Portland being on the ground floor on solar parking meters that now are just five years old with major failures, outdated, and a poor investment.

I don't understand. Are you saying Big Oil pays 5 / 6 of their tax, they pay 6 and get 1 part back in 'subsidy'?

What I was thinking of was the Oil Depletion Allowance, for the '50s, forward.

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