Thursday, September 23, 2010

California Wine Producer Installs Solar Arrays

Californian wine producer Constellation Wines US is installing three new solar power arrays, taking its generating capacity up to nearly 4 megawatts.

The company will install solar systems at its Clos du Bois winery in Geyserville, Ravenswood winery in Sonoma and Estancia winery in Monterey County.

The projects follow on from the facility set up at the Gonzales winery in Gonzales, California, in 2009.

When complete, the company will have about 17,000 solar panels installed, the most of any US wine producer.

The projects will provide 100% of the energy needs of the Estrancia and Ravenswood wineries, along with 75% of the Clos du Bois winery’s power demand and 60% of the Gonzales winery.

Greg Fowler, senior vice president of Operations, Constellation Wines US, said: “The four systems will have a combined solar power of 3.95 megawatt DC, which is equivalent to 4.5 million pounds of emitted carbon being removed from the atmosphere. This amount equates to 9 million miles not driven annually or 226 million miles not driven over the next 25 years, a sizeable reduction.”


Constellation has hired Genesis Renewable Energy to design, install, operate, monitor and maintain the three new installations.

Genesis will work with locally-based contractors to complete the project, further utilizing community resources and creating local jobs.

Part of the investment in the multi-million dollar initiative came in the form of incentives provided by the federal government and the California Solar Initiative.

The project is expected to save $1 million in energy costs each year.

The Clos du Bois Winery – the company’s home base – will have 4,164 modules on rooftops, panels and carports, totaling 1.1 megawatt DC output.

The Ravenswood Winery will receive 2,148 modules, generating 107 kilowatts DC in a ground mount system and 474 kilowatts in a rooftop system.

The Estancia Winery will have 4,164 modules generating 1.1MW of power (DC), while the Gonzales Winery will have a 1MW system.

Constellation’s brands include Robert Mondavi, Hardys, Clos du Bois, Blackstone, Arbor Mist, Estancia, Ravenswood, Jackson-Triggs, Kim Crawford, Corona Extra, Black Velvet Canadian Whisky and SVEDKA Vodka.


No comments: