ASX-listed wine producer Australian Vintage will source energy from both solar and wind farms to operate its largest site – and the third largest winery in Australia – after signing a hybrid renewable power purchase agreement with corporate retailer Flow Power.
The deal will take the company’s Buronga Hill facility in New South Wales to 90 per cent renewable, adding to the output of 1.65MW of ground and roof-mounted solar (pictured above and below), installed by Todae Solar, that produces 30 per cent of Australian Vintage’s power requirements.
The 10-year deal marks the first major PPA of its kind for a winemaker in Australia – and a major one at that; Australian Vintage owns leading export brands including McGuigan Wines, Tempus Two and Nepenthe.
But it is just the latest such deal sealed by an Australian business, seeking to lock in lower energy costs by sourcing off-site solar and wind energy.
Among them, Carlton & United Breweries (CUB) in March signed a contract with the 112MW Karadoc solar farm in Victoria, through German renewable energy developer BayWa, as part of its plan to reach 100 per cent renewables by the end of 2018.
And food manufacturer Mars Australia in May signed a 20-year power-purchase agreement with Total Eren to produce the equivalent of all its electricity needs from the Kiamal solar farm in western Victoria when it is complete in mind 2019.
Mars contracted for energy – through the solar farm and a “firming contract” from TFC Green – to match the electricity requirements of its six Australian factories (Asquith, Ballarat, Bathurst, Wacol, Wodonga & Wyong) and two sales offices (Melbourne & Sydney).
For Flow Power, coordinating such deals is its core business, which was launched in September last year, off the back of a deal with the Ararat wind farm.
Flow Power also sources power for its corporate customers from Kiamal solar farm, through a deal which CEO Matthew van der Linden described at the time as “really cheap” and “well below the rates out in the market.”
The company has since branched into the New South Wales renewables market, with a contract to buy 50MW of the output from the new 270MW Sapphire Wind Farm in northern NSW.
And in Queensland, in August, Flow Power contracted to take the output from 50MW of the proposed 104MW Lakeland wind farm that Windlab is aiming to build about 60km south-west of Cooktown on the Cape York Peninsula in the state’s north.
The deal with Australian Vintage will deliver a further 60 per cent of the Buronga Hill winery’s requirements through solar and wind, the equivalent amount needed to power 2,200 homes for a year.
“We’re thrilled to be working with Australian Vintage on this landmark deal,” van der Linden said in comments on Monday.
“The team have aligned the profiles of the wind farm, solar plant and on-site solar at the Buronga Hill winery to create a solution that will meet its power needs for the next 10 years.”
Australian Vintage chief, Neil McGuigan, said the PPA was a “considerable milestone” for the wine maker, which took its responsibility to create a cleaner planet “very seriously.”
“We are making significant progress on the ambitious sustainability targets we have set and are proud to be at the forefront of the renewable energy movement and leading the field in the wine industry,” he said.
“(As) one of the biggest producers in Australia… (Australian vintage) operates at a scale that can deliver significant environmental benefits as a result of its green policies.
“The new partnership with Flow Power is a significant step towards our Buronga Hill winery being predominantly powered by renewable energy.
“By lowering our carbon emissions and putting renewables at the centre of our approach, we are playing our part in creating a more sustainable future.”