A major Australian wine maker will host one of Australia’s first commercial solar power purchase projects, with the installation of a 350kW PV system for NSW-based company, Tyrrell’s Wines.
Sunlease, a Solgen Group solar leasing company, announced on Tuesday it was nearing completion of the system at Tyrrell’s Hunter Valley vineyard, home to the 5th generation Australian family-owned business.
“Renewable energy is something we feel very strongly about, and we are happy to be able to keep on producing award-winning wines, powered by the sun,” said the winemaker’s CEO, Bruce Tyrrell.
“Through a purchase power agreement with Sunlease, I did not pay any up-front fees for the installation of the system,” Tyrrell said.
“I can also look forward to paying a fixed amount per kWh for the winery’s energy consumption for the next 20 years. In my view, this is a stable opportunity for the business.”
It is the latest of numerous wineries to go solar in Australia. Peter Lehmann Wines recently installed a 125kW solar installation, WA’s watershed last year completed a 149kW solar system on the rooftops of its barrel store and wine warehouse, joining wineries in the Tanundra, and McLaren Vale regions of South Australia; NSW’s Hunter Valley; and the De Bortoli winery near Griffith NSW, which launched its solar 230kW PV generator and 200kW solar thermal hot water system in 2013.
Sunlease will own the 350kW Solgen-built solar array and will sell the output at a fixed cost directly to Tyrrell’s Wines for the term of the agreement.
It is expected to generate around 563MWh each year and offset a significant portion of electricity for the operating infrastructure of the vineyard, saving the company around 26 per cent against the standard utility costs.
“As a group, we continue to pursue opportunities for our customers that make financial sense over the long-term,” said Sunlease Director David Naismith.
“Through Sunlease, we’re investing in on-site solar power generation for our customers so they can purchase power at fixed rates, lower than the grid. The long-term savings potential is enormous.”
The official opening of the Tyrrell’s solar system will be on Friday, 5 June 2015 at the wine maker’s vineyard in Pokolbin, NSW.
This article was first published at RenewEconomy.