Solar-Powered Vineyard Trend Continues

Joining a growing list of Vineyards taking advantage of the sun for more than ripening their grapes, Rodney Strong Vineyards signed an agreement with PowerLight Corporation of Berkeley, California to install what they anticipate will be the largest solar electric system ever installed at a winery.

Sonoma County, California – September 22, 2003 [SolarAccess.com] The winery, located in Healdsburg, California will begin with the solar photovoltaic (PV) installation in early October of 2003 and the project is scheduled to be complete before the end of the year. Once installed on the winery’s 100,000 square foot barrelhouse, the solar system will generate 766 kW of power. During full days of sun, the system will be capable of supporting a significant portion of all the winery’s power needs. “Solar electrical systems have never been more suitable to our industry,” Tom Klein, winery CEO explains. “The combination of solar technology improvements, along with customary flat surfaced winery storage areas and their sunny locations, have made renewable energy more commercially viable.” Over the average 25-year life of the system, the solar generated electricity will reduce emissions of carbon dioxide by 8,700 tons. The emissions reductions are equivalent to planting almost 2,500 acres of trees, removing 1,700 cars from the road or not driving nearly 22 million miles on California’s roadways (equivalent to 45 trips to the moon and back)! In addition, the solar system will generate enough electricity during the daytime to power almost 800 homes. The Klein family, a century-old California farming family, has owned Rodney Strong Vineyards for 13 years and said they are grateful to be taking a major step to protect the quality of life in the region.

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