Winery Harvesting New Benefits From the Sun

Sunlight is key to any winemaker's success, bringing grapes to the perfect ripeness a successful vintage requires. Lately, vintners are discovering new ways to harvest solar benefits. St. Francis Winery, in Santa Rosa, Calif., has joined a number of other wineries in the surrounding Sonoma area in installing a new photovoltaic system for generating a portion of its electricity needs.

06/01/2004


Sunlight is key to any winemaker's success, bringing grapes to the perfect ripeness a successful vintage requires. Lately, vintners are discovering new ways to harvest solar benefits. St. Francis Winery, in Santa Rosa, Calif., has joined a number of other wineries in the surrounding Sonoma area in installing a new photovoltaic system for generating a portion of its electricity needs.

With its 457-kW generating capacity, the system is estimated to provide more than 30% of St. Francis' electricity needs. And, like all solar installations, its output will be greatest on just those hot, sunny days when California's utilities face their highest demand loads, allowing the winery to sell power back to the grid when the utility needs it most.

The winery is also looking to lower its energy requirements, by installing new energy-efficient lighting along with its energy-creating PV system. The custom-designed high-bay fixtures in the refrigerated barrel-storage and winemaking operations areas offer twofold benefits. Not only will they cut lighting-energy requirements by 48%, they'll also reduce related heat loads—and resulting refrigeration requirements—in these temperature-controlled areas.





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