Pewabic Pottery goes solar

DETROIT—Officials of the 117-year-old Detroit pottery maker Pewabic Pottery announced a move to 21st century energy, with the addition of 74 solar panels atop its education center and tile studio, out of sight of its iconic Tudor storefront on East Jefferson Avenue.

Installed by Powerhome Solar, the panels will offset approximately 16 percent of Pewabic’s average electricity bill, providing power for lighting, heating, air conditioning, 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.

The Mooresville, N.C.-based solar energy installer Powerhome Solar opened an office in Troy in 2017, and has made hundreds of residential and commercial installations around 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 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 historic building.

“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, Powerhome CEO. “Our work will help Pewabic achieve its sustainability goals and hopefully encourage patrons to consider solar, too.”

Pewabic Pottery is a nonprofit cultural destination that attracts visitors from around the world. For more information visit

Powerhome, founded in 2014, operates in 10 states and has more than 1,300 employees. More at

(Photo by By Andrew Jameson via Wikimedia Commons.)

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