Margaret River winery taps solar PV with 456-panel rooftop array | RenewEconomy

Margaret River winery taps solar PV with 456-panel rooftop array

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Western Australia winery aims to cut power costs and grid dependence with completion of 149kW solar PV array.

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Yet another Australian winery has switched to renewable energy, with the installation of a 456-panel solar PV system at Watershed Premium Wines, an award-wining winery in Margaret River, WA.

The completion of a 149kW solar system spanning the rooftops of the company’s barrel store and wine warehouse, sees Watershed join a host of its contemporaries, including wineries in the Tanundra, and McLaren Vale regions of South Australia; NSW’s Hunter Valley; and the De Bortoli winery near Griffith NSW, which launched its solar 230kW PV generator and 200kW solar thermal hot water system in October last year.

The Watershed PV array – which features 456 SunPower E20/327 solar panels with efficiencies of 20 per cent – is expected to save the WA winemaker just under $80,000 a year in energy costs and offset its grid electricity use by 30 per cent, the company said in a statement on Tuesday.

Watershed owns the solar power system, which was installed by Sunwise Electrics, and will claim the associated Large-scale Generation Certificates (LGCs) through 2030.

It will generate roughly 238 megawatt-hours of electricity a year – the same amount needed to produce 28,000 cases of wine annually, according to estimates provided by AusIndustry. The winery expects to use this to offset its power use when demand and energy prices are at their peak, especially during vintage.

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4 Comments
  1. Alistair Spong 6 years ago

    Cape Mentelle also in Margaret River has also had a very large array on their roof for at least 2 years !

  2. Rob Lawther 6 years ago

    Why do wineries use so much power? Is it the machinery used to crush the grapes/bottle the wine, or do they climate control their cellars, or have I just completely underestimated the amount of power required to run a business?

    • Giles 6 years ago

      Rob, according to a winery i visited in California last year, mostly due to climate control. But they pretty intensive anyway – fridges, offices, function areas etc etc.

  3. Tom_Armidale_in_Australia 6 years ago

    Of course, what is not mentioned here is the stress on the environment
    which is being released. Coal mining and coal fired power plants:
    – Clear large amounts of vegetation. This has significant implications for
    underground water flows, developed in Australia over hundreds of
    millions of years;
    – Extract large volumes of water; especially relevant on this, the driest inhabited continent on Earth;
    – Release pollution into the surrounding air;
    – Contribute to greenhouse gases in the atmosphere;
    – Fragment animal habitat, localise gene pools, decrease biodiversity and
    lower the resilience of an ecosystem to a stress event…

    Does not quite compare to a source of energy which literally rolls around
    once a day (instead of every 250-325 million years), will be there for
    billions of years (instead of decades), does not contribute to an
    alteration of gases in the atmosphere, does not pollute air whilst in
    operation, does not pollute water whilst in operation…

    In sum, a mispricing is occurring. Not only should mining be taxed out of
    existence, the use of sunlight to meet energy needs should be subsidised
    until Australia’s energy needs are 100% met through renewable energies.
    Enough sunlight reaches the surface of the Earth in a matter of hours
    to meet today’s worldwide energy needs for a year. Furthermore, we have known this since – at the latest – the 1880s.

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