The last of a 3MW solar system has been installed at Pernod Ricard Winemakers’ Barossa Valley wineries, rounding off the French company’s journey to 100% renewables for its Australian operations.
AGL Energy said on Friday laid claim to construction of “Australia’s largest” combined winery solar installation at the South Australian sites, with the completion of a solar-powered employee car park.
AGL’s head of delivery operations, Brendan Weinert, said the employee car park at the Rowland Flat winery also included solar powered electric vehicle charging facilities.
The first 1MW stage of the installation was switched on at Rowland Flat in late 2018, the same year that Pernod Ricard became the first wine company in South Australia to sign a renewable power purchase agreement.
The 10-year agreement inked with renewable electricity retailer Flow Power means that the remainder of the business’ annual electricity requirements will be met by solar and wind.
Weinart said the combined 10,354 of solar panels installed at Pernod Ricard’s Rowland Flat and Tanunda wineries were expected to generate more than 4,000MWh of renewable electricity in the first year.
“We’re proud to have contributed to Pernod Ricard Winemakers’ ambition of sourcing all of electricity from renewable sources,” Weinert said.
“The car park includes electric vehicle charging facilities which means some Pernod Ricard Winemakers employees really will be able to drive with the power of the sun in the future.
“The chargers give electric cars a driving range of between 30 and 40 kilometres per hour of charging, which is further than the average Australian drives in a day and a more efficient charge than from a standard wall plug.”
Weinert said winemakers around Australia had been showing a strong commitment to operating sustainably due to their businesses’ need for a healthy environment including soil, water and sunshine.
“As the cost of solar energy systems becomes more economical and all businesses recognise the impact of climate change, the attractiveness of solar continues to increase,” he said.
“Installing solar panels on car parks may be a practical solution for businesses that want to go solar but have limited roof space.”
Pernod Ricard Winemakers COO Brett McKinnon thanked AGL for its help in making the company the first large of its kind in Australia to achieve 100 percent renewable electricity.