PLYMOUTH, Mich. (WJBK) -- A futuristic looking silo is designed for an age old method of keeping things cool. Think of it as a giant ice cube tray that will be filled with water all winter long and frozen into a massive block of ice.
"We're making ice while the getting is good. It's cold outside, and even in a mild condition we can still make ice," said Reynold Hendrickson with the StarPak Group.
Saxton's Garden Center in Plymouth will use the ice and the melt water from it as a renewable, cost effective form of air conditioning. They hired StarPak Group of Ann Arbor to set everything up and eventually hook it up to the existing cooling system.
"This is an ancient concept. Everyone's great grandfather used ice from icehouses that lasted all year. That's how you got cold milk in Memphis, Tennessee in 1896 in August," Hendrickson explained.
"This is a good opportunity to take advantage of the natural environment," said University of Michigan Emeritus Professor John Clark.
Crews will return to Saxton's in April and hook the silo up to the existing air conditioning system. We're told the 12 foot block of ice will last more than a year.
"We won't be having to rely so much on fossil fuels and it's a renewable energy because the water just has to be refrozen and melted again," said Dave Presley with Saxton's Garden Center.
It sounds so simple and StarPak said it is, but it's expensive. The Saxton's job will cost about $12,000.
The owner said it's worth it because their air conditioner needed to be replaced anyway and they hope this method will cut their energy costs considerably, enough for the job to pay for itself in three to four years.
"The more I looked into it after they gave me the call, I said, 'You know something, this makes sense," Presley told us.
You can stop by this summer to see how it's working.
To learn more about StarPak, visit www.starpakgroup.com.