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Solar Powered Wineries & Vineyards

By James Kennedy, Founder and President Beach Cities Solar Consulting LLC

I am a huge fan of red wine, particularly California Cabernets!  Living in California for thirteen years will have that effect on you.  That is one reason I am so pleased to see so many solar powered wineries and vineyards throughout California.  As wine culture (viticulture) continues to grow, wineries and vineyards prosper, more and more vintners are considering how to decrease their costs while also bolstering their resilience and environmental stewardship.

To do this, many wineries and vineyards are turning to solar energy. Solar energy not only powers vital machinery, but when paired with battery storage it can also protect from power outages and help reduce or eliminate the winery or vineyard’s carbon footprint. Solar reduces winery energy costs.  Growing, harvesting, and processing grapes to make wine is very energy-intensive. The machinery and equipment involved all along the way require a lot of energy to ensure the speed and quality of the winemaking process. These energy needs can be very expensive and eat into profits.

From the very beginning, ensuring the strong growth of grapes is vital to the winemaking process. This requires the grapevines to receive a consistent and reliable source of water, often in the form of irrigation lines. These irrigation systems require a lot of energy to pump the water, especially in times of drought. The next steps in the winemaking process also require a lot of energy. These steps include crushing the grapes, fermentation, pressing, and filtering. Each of these steps requires special machinery that consumes a lot of energy. Once the wine has been made, it must be aged. Aging requires the wine to be kept at a constant temperature and humidity level. This requires refrigeration and humidifiers to run for years on end, which consumes a ton of energy.

Each of these steps in the winemaking process requires a lot of energy. And each of these steps presents a cost saving opportunity.

By installing solar panels, solar powered wineries and vineyards can produce their own energy and significantly their energy bills. These savings can increase winery and vineyard profits, which can be used to reinvest in the business, expand operations, and create a competitive advantage. Solar & batteries can provide resilience. Wineries and vineyards are businesses that require constant and reliable sources of energy. If any step along the winemaking process fails, it can have devastating consequences. For example, if irrigation pumps can’t pump water, acres of grapevines could be stunted or die. If fermenting tanks do not have power, untold gallons of must (unfermented grape mixture) could be wasted. If refrigeration fails, hundreds to thousands of bottles of wine could go bad.

That’s why many wineries and vineyards are turning to solar plus storage. By installing solar panels and batteries, solar powered wineries and vineyards can ensure every step of the winemaking process is resilient and protected against power outages. This provides a level of profit protection that every business needs. Solar can also provide resilience against other unforeseen hardship, such as drought. Research has shown that heat waves and drought are increasing year over year. These climate changes are becoming an increasing concern for wineries and vineyards. By installing solar panels, wineries and vineyards can strengthen their ability to react to drought conditions. The increased cost to pump water to their vines and to cool their buildings and storage can be offset by the energy savings from their solar panels. This can reduce huge and unforeseen expenses and protect profits at the same time.

Solar can improve business image. Along with reducing expenses, protecting profits, and providing resiliency, solar panels can improve a business image. Many consumers are becoming more and more conscious of their carbon footprint. This includes knowing where their wine comes from and how sustainably it is sourced and made. By installing solar panels, many solar wineries and vineyards can demonstrate their commitment to reducing or eliminating their carbon footprint. Solar panels will not only be providing clean energy, they will help market your business as a sustainable entity that is doing its part to help protect the environment, and customers will certainly notice.

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Get your turnkey agricultural solar system and battery proposal with ROI and financing options by e-mailing us your last 12 months electric bills, a picture of the facilities’ switchgear, and a picture of your roof or vacant land today: info@beachcitiessolarconsulting.com