KALAMAZOO, Mich. – Bell’s Brewery gave a tour Tuesday to advanced energy business leaders, elected officials and members of the Michigan Energy Innovation Business Council, showcasing how renewable energy and energy efficiency upgrades are cutting their electricity costs. The tour featured a demonstration of Bell’s anaerobic digester, which converts organic byproducts of the brewing process into heat and electricity.
“Bell’s Brewery provides an example of how businesses can save money on their electricity bills with innovative advanced energy technology,” said Liesl Clark, president of the Michigan Energy Innovation Business Council. “Reducing energy waste results in massive savings on electricity costs and we applaud Bell’s for leading the way on energy efficiency and sustainability.”
Area legislators toured the site, including State Representative Dave Maturen (R-Vicksburg) and State Senator Margaret O’Brien (R-Portage) who both represent the Comstock area facility. State Senator Tonya Schuitmaker (R-Lawton) also attended the tour. Both Schuitmaker and Maturen serve on their chamber’s energy policy committees.
“Bell’s energy efficiency upgrades are just another example of businesses finding new ways to save money on their operational costs,” said O’Brien. “I loved seeing the innovative work they’re doing to reuse their heat while brewing. We’re excited to see this great job creator lead the way.”
“Bell’s has continued to be on the cutting edge,” said Maturen “From Larry Bell making beer in a soup pot over 30 years ago, to using their digester and CHP system to convert some of their own waste to energy. More businesses should take their lead. We are fortunate to have such a technologically savvy business in the 63rd District.”
Bell’s anaerobic digester was installed in 2014. The system processes more than 100,000 gallons of wastewater daily, converting organic byproducts from the brewing process into energy. Bell’s also utilizes a combined heat and power engine (CHP) that captures and uses heat from generating electricity.
“For 30 years we have been committed to brewing the highest quality beer possible. If we’re going to do that for another 30 years, we need to use our natural resources and raw materials in a sustainable way. That’s one of the reasons why we have installed energy efficiency upgrades like CHP and our bio-digester,” said Walker Modic, Sustainability Manager at Bell’s Brewery. “We have been able to reduce waste and generate renewable energy, which is good for our business and the surrounding community.”
The CHP engine used by Bell’s is a product made by Michigan EIBC member company, Michigan CAT Power Systems. Michigan CAT Power Systems is a provider of turnkey CHP systems and landfill power solutions.
“We were glad to be a part of this great project in 2014, and we’re seeing the results today,” said Kevin O’Connell, EPG Commercial Business Manager for Michigan CAT Power Systems. “We bring decades of leadership in converting natural, bio, and landfill gas to viable energy, saving our customers money and resources for the future.”