The solar-powered vineyard trend continues – and certainly in a big way with Rodney Strong Vineyards. The California winery is now the proud owner of a 766 kW photovoltaic (PV) electric system provided and installed by Berkeley-based PowerLight.Healdsburg, California – March 9, 2004 [SolarAccess.com] As part of the state’s generous rebate structure, Pacific Gas and Electric Company presented Rodney Strong Vineyards a rebate check in the amount of US$2,164,403 for the rooftop mounted system. The PV rebate check was presented at a special dedication ceremony last Friday. On sunny days, the PV system has the capacity to produce up to 766 kW, enough energy to run more than 550 average homes. “Pacific Gas and Electric Company is pleased to offer customers like Rodney Strong Vineyards an incentive to help them cover the cost of installing clean, on-site generation,” said Anlin Ting-Mason, vice president of business systems and energy programs at the utility. “The facility will provide both environmental and financial benefits for decades to come.” Pacific Gas and Electric Company’s self-generation incentive program is providing the financial incentive that covers up to half the cost of clean, on-site electric generating systems. The program allows utility customers installing on-site generation to obtain rebates to help offset the costs associated with either solar, wind, fuel cell, micro turbine or internal combustion engine cogeneration systems. “Solar electrical systems have never been more suitable to the wine industry,” said Tom Klein, owner of Rodney Strong Vineyards. “The combination of technological improvements and a significant rebate from PG&E has made renewable energy more commercially viable and simply the right thing to do.” “We’re delighted that Rodney Strong is setting such a wonderful example for the wine industry by deploying reliable, environmentally-responsible and cost-effective solar power,” said PowerLight Corporation president Dan Shugar whose company installed the system. “Rodney Strong is demonstrating real vision by embracing renewable technologies at its magnificent new winery.” The program, titled the Self-Generation Incentive Program, is primarily designed for business-sized systems, which help to meet some, or all, of a facility’s power needs. The California Energy Commission offers a similar program targeted to residential customers who install renewable generation sources, such as solar and wind.