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Video: A Building Developer and a Restaurant Owner Discuss Benefits of Solar Thermal


Last month at Solar Power International 2013, Doug Stingle, Development Director of the Midwest Renewable Energy Association, sat down with representatives of two Chicago area businesses that have benefited from solar hot water.

His first guest, Michael Burton, is the ‎Asset Management Director of Bickerdike Redevelopment Corporation, a 45-year-old non-profit that’s developed 125 affordable housing buildings in the greater Chicago area. Since 2010, Bickerdike has installed three solar thermal systems on recent building projects. According to Burton, the organization’s main goal was to reduce their operating costs and expects to see an payback for the systems in less than 8 years.

Michael Cameron is the owner of two Uncommon Ground restaurants in Chicago. Each Uncommon Ground location has a solar thermal system, a feature that helped both eateries to be certified as the number 1 and number 2 greenest restaurants in the world by the Green Restaurant Association. Cameron notes in the video that the restaurants use so much hot water every day that he will receive an ROI in less than four years!

Both Burton and Cameron say that solar thermal continues to make financial sense for them and that they plan to install more systems in the near future.

There’s a lot more information about their projects and why they installed solar thermal in the video. Naturally, if you have any questions about designing a solar thermal system for restaurants or any multi-unit housing project, please let us know.


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