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.