Pewabic Pottery, a National Historic Landmark, and one of the oldest continuously operating potteries in the country, has been making pottery and tile in Detroit since 1903. Today, the 117-year-old pottery added 74 solar panels atop its education and tile studios, located behind the iconic Tudor-style building. Installed by POWERHOME SOLAR, the panels will offset 16% of Pewabic’s average electricity bill and will provide power for lighting, HVAC units and electric kilns.
Funding for the solar project was provided in part by a grant from the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs, along with gifts from more than 100 individual donors.
POWERHOME Solar, an energy-efficiency company specializing in solar energy installation, opened its Metro Detroit location in 2017, and now serves hundreds of residential and commercial customers throughout the state.
“Marrying a century-old structure with modern-day technology is an art form,” said Pewabic Executive Director Steve McBride. “As a historic landmark, we want to honor the integrity of the original Pewabic buildings while reducing our carbon footprint and becoming more sustainable to ensure we are still here in another 100 years.”
POWERHOME SOLAR consultants worked closely with Pewabic leadership to ensure the solar panel installation met the pottery’s energy needs and sustainability goals and did not impact the aesthetics of the facility.
“This is the first National Historic Landmark project for POWERHOME SOLAR and our first installation to help support an exemplary Detroit arts and culture institution,” said Jayson Waller, CEO, POWERHOME SOLAR. “Our work will help Pewabic achieve its sustainability goals and hopefully encourage patrons to consider solar, too.”
— Solar Builder magazine