De Bortoli winery near Griffith NSW will launch its new solar power and hot water system on Thursday this week, having completed installation of a 230kW PV generator and 200kW solar thermal preheater – both individually the largest installed of their kind at any Australian winery to date.
The two solar power installations at Bilbul Estate are expected to save the third-generation family wine company tens of thousands of dollars a year through offset electricity and gas consumption, and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions at the site by more than 314 tonnes of carbon dioxide a year.
The solar PV system was designed and constructed by Adelaide-based power system integrator The Solar Project with 960 German designed and manufactured Q CELLS solar PV modules.
The 2700 evacuated tube solar thermal array – by Australian-owned solar hot water manufacturer Apricus Australia – will provide process heat for the winery’s bottling operations.
The Solar Project have recently completed a similar sized project at d’Arenberg winery in the McClaren Vale, and is due to construct another 200kW facility for another SA winery before the year is out.
As part of the official opening, a cluster meeting will be held for local wineries and other businesses looking at becoming more sustainable in their business practices, while The Solar Project will host a Clean Energy Enterprise Round Table event in the afternoon for larger consumers of power (300MWh+ or over $120,000 in power bills annually) to highlight the importance of project management, understanding of tier-one technical equipment and financing options available that make solar more attractive to businesses as part of medium to large scale solar projects.
“There are many cases in some power networks in Australia where small commercial energy users have ended up worse off after installing solar panels. You really need to know the regulations that govern connections well,” the project’s director of sales and business development, David Buetefuer said.
“We’re happy to provide expert advice to Australian grape growers and winemaking businesses considering solar, particularly regarding how the distribution network will treat them after solar has been installed.”
“Choosing a panel that can withstand Australia’s harsh climate as well as out-perform industry standards is a priority when choosing a commercial system,” Oliver Hartley, Managing Director of Hanwha Q CELLS Australia said.