McKinney Brewery Powers Itself

Franconia Brewing Co. uses new technology to go off the grid

A McKinney brewing company is using new, environmentally friendly technology to draft its signature beverage.

Franconia Brewing Co. has installed a micropower-generation system that provides all of the brewery's power from the property.

"The plan for us is definitely to get off the grid," owner Dennis Wehrmann said.

The system uses a variety of renewable energy sources, from solar panels on the roof of the brewery's carport, to natural gas and even waste from vegetable oil.

"You're not just working with one energy source like solar or just wind -- you can put different energy sources into one," Wehrmann said.

It is the first commercial installation of the technology, which was developed by fellow McKinney company Perfectly Green Corp.

"This is the first deployment of a new technology," CEO Eric Barger said.

He said the use of a variety of energy sources to complement each other takes away one of the biggest complaints about renewable energy: inconsistency.

"A solar PV panel is a lovely technology, however, a cloud may come over or the sun might set," he said. "What this will do is provide a consistent power by making up that energy that the cloud just took away."

The system even offers potential to pump power back into the larger grid itself.

Perfectly Green has several contracts in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, including other businesses in McKinney that have signed on to create a similar self-sustaining system.

Wehrmann said that while his small business was already energy-efficient, he has always prioritized finding new ways to use alternative energy sources.

"It's something that, if the technology is there, everyone should do it," he said.

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