South Australia's wine industry embraces solar energy

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Barossa Valley based Yalumba Wine Company is set to complete one of the largest commercial solar system installations in South Australia, and the largest to date by any Australian winery. 

It will have taken more than three months to put the 5384 individual panels in place at three sites: Yalumba Angaston Winery, Yalumba Nursery, and the separate Oxford Landing Winery.

When fully operational, the 1.4 MW PV system will produce enough renewable energy to reduce Yalumba’s energy costs by about 20 per cent and cut its annual CO2 emissions by more than 1200 tonnes, equivalent to taking 340+ cars off the road.

“It is an exciting project and one that will deliver us significant savings, as well as being consistent with our corporate focus on sustainability,” said managing director Nick Waterman.

Yalumba is currently the leader of the pack, but it is an increasingly large pack, with installers saying the wine industry continues to embrace solar energy at twice the rate of other business sectors.

No-one keeps a detailed list, but South Australian wineries with systems in excess of 100kW include D’Arenberg, Seppeltsfield, Peter Lehmann, Angove, Torbreck, Wirra Wirra, Jim Barry and Gemtree. Many smaller wineries are installing smaller systems.

David Buetefuer, Director of Sales and Business Development for The Solar Project, which has worked with a number of local wineries including D’Arenberg, said the wine industry recognised the benefit of harnessing solar power at its most productive period of the year, which coincided with the summer to autumn vintage when the demand for electricity was at its peak in wine production.

You can read more on the South Australian wine industry's uptake of solar energy here.