WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - Mad Mole brewery opened in May of 2018 as the first brewery in Wilmington powered by solar energy. The brewery installed 65 solar panels for $60,000.
The co-owner, Ole Pederson, said the initial cost of going solar may be expensive for his business, but it pays off in the end. Pederson said a little more than one-third of the brewery’s power bill is covered by solar panels. It wasn’t the business model from the start either, he said.
“We didn’t really set out to be a solar powered brewery from the beginning. We just started looking into it and it kind of made sense," Pederson said.
Cape Fear Solar Systems senior project manager Robert Parker also said going solar helps with costs long term and tax benefits.
“The electricity is something they’re going to pay for no matter what, and by investing in solar, they’re getting it for a much better price long term and going to be paying a lot less long term,” Parker said.
In order to have a business power by solar energy, Parker said there are some qualifications.
“The direction matters a little bit, but really, what it comes down to is if you don’t have big trees casting a shadow over your roof," Parker said.
Large trees hanging over a roof causes too much shadowing which then leads to lack of sunlight hitting the solar panels, creating a lack of energy, Parker said. Mad Mole may be the only Wilmington solar powered brewery, but Parker said more than a dozen businesses take advantage of the suns power.