Focus on Energy Helps Wisconsin Distributor Make Renewable Investment

Focus on Energy Helps Wisconsin Distributor Make Renewable Investment


Madison, WI – General Beverage has made a commitment to energy efficiency at several of its facilities across Wisconsin, but it was a project at its Chippewa Falls distribution center that earned the company a $115,848 payment from Focus on Energy on Tuesday.

The money was an incentive payment for a large solar project – 736 panels – on the roof of General Beverage’s Chippewa Falls building.

"We wanted to be good stewards to the environment. We saw an opportunity to cap our energy costs and, by the nature of the beer businesses, you have keg coolers that are running 24/7. So [we wanted to see] if we could reduce our emissions and go solar and see what impact we could make," owner Joel Minkoff told WEAU-TV.

The incentive payment from Focus on Energy helps offset the cost of the $442,000 solar project, which has an estimated lifecycle electricity savings of nearly 7.5 million kilowatt hours. That is enough to provide electricity to 828 homes for a full year and equates to more than six million pounds of coal burned.

“We’re especially happy with the production and the ease of getting it going,” said Tony Hartmann of Legacy Solar Co-op, which worked on the project along with Midwest Solar Power.

Focus on Energy provides monetary incentives and energy expertise to Wisconsin businesses and homeowners as a way to encourage energy-efficient choices and the reduction of energy waste.

A recent evaluation report found every $1 invested in Focus on Energy programs creates $5.93 in benefits for Wisconsin, including economic benefits, reduced energy costs, and reduced pollution.

General Beverage has also undertaken solar projects at its facilities in Fitchburg and Little Chute.

About Focus on Energy
Focus on Energy is Wisconsin utilities' statewide energy efficiency and renewable resource program funded by the state's investor-owned energy utilities and participating municipal and electric cooperative utilities. Focus on Energy works with eligible Wisconsin residents and businesses to install cost-effective energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. Focus on Energy information, resources and financial incentives help to implement projects that otherwise would not be completed. Its efforts help Wisconsin residents and businesses manage rising energy costs, promote in-state economic development, protect our environment and control Wisconsin's growing demand for electricity and natural gas. For more information call 800.762.7077 or visit

About General Beverage
General Beverage is one of the largest wholesale distributors of wine, distilled spirits, beer and non-alcoholic beverages in Wisconsin and has been serving the state since 1933. The company consults with, sells to, and services over 11,400 licensed beverage retailers throughout Wisconsin to help them to profitably select, promote, merchandise, and sell consumer products in the beverage category.

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