SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 News) - Most Utahns have seen gunk trapped in the air by an inversion. So tonight ABC 4 is taking a closer look at a Salt Lake City business working to clean it up.
The Uinta Brewing Company became the first Utah business to produce all of it's electricity with green power. This is no small feat when you consider it produced more than 1.3 million gallons of beer last year.
Owner Will Hamill opened his doors for an unlimited access tour of his green energy company. It doesn't take long to realize this place uses a lot of electricity like the company's canning machine. "It's a 28 valve filler capable of doing 428 cans a minute," Hamill said.
A short walk to another part of the company reveals a giant refrigerator. "Uinta Beer is not pressurized so we need to keep it refrigerated. It's really important to keep Uinta Beer cold because it helps the shelf life," Hamill said.
This multi-million dollar brewery uses a lot of electricity, but none of it comes from coal. To find the source we climb to the roof and walk to the southern portion of the building where we find 140 solar panels. They produce 18 percent of the company's electrical energy.
The rest of the energy is produced from wind turbines in Spanish Fork. The solar panels were installed in 2001. They cost $160,000, but 40 percent of the cost was covered by federal and local grants.
Will ended up paying $96,000 for his solar panels.
The savings on his electric bill paid off the panels last year so now he's enjoying energy well below what he'd have to pay a power company.
"I sleep better at night knowing I'm doing what I can to minimize my impact," said Hamill.
Will is saving money and reducing the bad air you breath when an inversion hangs over Utah.
"The long term are my children and trying to keep out quality good," said Hamill.