ACHRNEWS

Solar Energy Powers California Winery

April 20, 2009
Click on the image for an enlarged view.

PASO ROBLES, Calif. - Eos Estate Winery is not only harvesting some of the finest grapes in California’s Central Coast wine country, it’s harnessing a trifecta of solar energy solutions from Conergy, headquartered in Denver, to meet all of its energy needs, making it among the first energy-sustainable wine brands in the United States. Eos’ three solar energy systems include a 504 kWp photovoltaic (PV) tracking system, a 36 kWp, 204-panel fixed-tilt PV system to power the winery’s visitor center, and a 100-panel roof-mounted solar thermal system.

Located adjacent to Eos’ vineyards, Conergy’s state-of-the-art tracking system maximizes the winery’s daily solar energy harvest by literally following the sun’s trajectory from east to west. The system delivers up to 15 percent more energy than traditional fixed-mount solar technologies. It spans over two acres. To augment this, the ground-mounted fixed-tilt solar system powers the winery’s tasting room and a roof-mounted solar thermal system provides the winery’s water heating needs.

“Our primary motivator was to produce wines in a way that honors this beautiful coastal area and respects the environment,” said Eos Estates Winery owner Jeff Hopmayer. “Conergy’s solutions enable Eos to optimize power generation throughout the day, avoiding the hours of shading confronted by standard systems set to peak hour production,” he noted. “These efficiencies - coupled with the government incentives associated with this project - made the economics of installing these remarkable earth-friendly systems viable.”

The winery’s environmental return on this project is also substantial. According to Conergy, Eos’ solar initiatives will reduce CO2 emissions by over 21,000 tons - the equivalent of eliminating 68 million car miles from California’s freeways.

Conergy will remotely monitor the systems and provide preventative maintenance to help ensure years of worry-free operation and economic return on Eos’ solar energy investment.

To demonstrate its solar success, Eos’ management team and the solar energy experts at Conergy will be on hand to share Eos Estate Winery’s economic and environmental solutions at Conergy’s inaugural Wine and Shine Tour and Tasting, scheduled for April 24.

The Earth Week event will provide other vintners and agricultural and water industry decision makers with behind-the-scenes solar energy system tours, Q & A sessions, and industry insight into the families behind Eos Estate Winery, J. Lohr Vineyards and Wines, and Clautiere Winery, all three of which have implemented Conergy solar systems.

“The rebates, tax incentives, accelerated depreciation, environmental benefits, and brand cache that go with pursuing clean energy solutions in today’s marketplace have never been more appealing,” said Conergy Project Developer Michael DeSousa, who engineered the solutions for all three of the wineries participating in the Wine and Shine Tour and Tasting. “The participation of these three successful wineries in this exclusive event is not only a testament to their business savvy, but to their exemplary environmental stewardship,” said DeSousa.

Conergy designs, manufactures, installs, and finances solar photovoltaic solutions for major commercial sectors, public agencies, businesses, and homeowners. For more information, visit www.conergy.us.

Publication date: 04/20/2009