The d’Arenberg winery in the McLaren Vale region of South Australia has installed the largest solar PV array of any wine-maker in the state.
The 200kW system, using Q-Cell modules, will save around $50,000 a year in grid-based electricity and cut greenhouse emissions by one third. It follows similar, though smaller installations by The Solar Project at the Tanunda and de Bortoli wineries. Another winery installation is due to be completed in January.
“When I first started working we had Clydesdale horses to plough the vineyards; we didn’t even have a tractor, and we used generators run by kerosene,” third generation wine maker d’Arry Osborn said of the day electricity was first connected in 1951.
“I never thought that one day we would produce our own electricity. In addition to that, we now recycle 100% of wastewater on-site, we’ve introduced organic practices to our vineyards, and we are leading the McLaren Vale Sustainable Winemaking Program.”
The Solar Project will also host a Clean Energy Enterprise Round Table event at d’Arenberg following the official launch event this afternoon for larger energy users (300MWh plus or over $70,000 in power bills annually) interested in reviewing commercial scale solar feasibility for their organisations.
“This project is a landmark solar installation for South Australian wineries and will hopefully encourage other wineries and the broader food and beverage sector to pursue energy efficient business practices through clean energy supply.” Solar Project’s Director of Sales and Business Development David Buetefuer said in a statement.