Winery Turns to PowerLight Solar Energy

PowerLight Corporation has completed another on-site solar generation system at a California winery. This new photovoltaic (PV) system is located at Domaine Carneros’ new Pinot Noir winery in Napa. The installation, which features a 120 kW solar electrical system, is the largest solar PV installation at a U.S. winery, according to the company.

Napa, California – June 27, 2003 [SolarAccess.com] The new PowerLight solar generation system, installed atop the new Domaine Carneros Pinot Noir winemaking facility, covers 9,400 square feet of the new facility, which is situated directly behind Domaine Carneros’ renowned chateau. This solar system generates the equivalent energy during the daytime to power as many as 120 homes, substantially reducing Domaine Carneros’ operating costs. Now that it’s operational, the solar system supplies the Domaine Carneros facilities with up to 40 percent of the winery’s electricity needs (at both the Domaine Carneros chateau and its Pinot Noir facility). “The installation of photovoltaic panels at our brand-new Pinot Noir facility marks a significant milestone in our continuing efforts to achieve sustainability in the production of premium wines,” said Eileen Crane, President and Winemaker for Domaine Carneros. “PowerLight’s solar electric system will help us generate clean energy at our winery as well as greatly conserve our energy resources.” By investing in on-site solar generation, Domaine Carneros is integrating solar electricity into its energy mix, thereby lowering operating costs and reducing purchases of expensive peak electricity. Additionally, PowerLight’s solar rooftop system will provide thermal insulation to reduce air conditioning costs in the new facility, which must be maintained to have a steady temperature year-round. Other energy-saving measures Domaine Carneros will employ in the new facility include skylights, heavy insulation and energy-efficient equipment. Domaine Carneros anticipates expanding its solar deployment in the future. “We salute Domaine Carneros’ environmental stewardship and its foresight in embracing renewable technologies,” said PowerLight President Dan Shugar. “By adopting clean, reliable and sustainable solar power, Domaine Carneros is making a commitment to improving both the health and quality of life in the region. Additionally, Domaine Carneros’ renewable energy strategy is contributing to California’s efforts to achieve sustainability and energy independence.” In installing the new Domaine Carneros solar electric system, PowerLight incorporated high efficiency photovoltaic technology from Sanyo Corp — the highest efficiency modules currently available on the market, according to the company. This solar electric system spares the environment from harmful CO2, NOX and SOX fossil fuel emissions that contribute to smog, acid rain and global warming.
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