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Archive for Case Study, Wineries and Agriculture

Commercial Solar Case Study, Hess Collection Winery

Winery Solar Electric Installation Project Profilesolar panels, Hess Winery, solar Napa

Committed to environmentally conscious and sustainable business practices, installing solar power was a natural choice for Hess Collection Winery. SolarCraft designed, engineered and installed the 649 kW solar photovoltaic system at its Napa, CA production facility.

Providing nearly 100% of the electrical needs for their operations, the solar power system will reduce their carbon footprint while saving millions in utility costs in the years to come.

As with all solar power systems, the clean, renewable energy from the solar panels will help lessen the load on the grid and offset the emission of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.

The solar photovoltaic system is roof-mounted, spanning 44,555 square feet. The system consists of 2,200 Hanwha Solar 295-watt solar panels, powering their offices and production facilities with clean, renewable energy.

The system’s solar electric panels are expected to generate approximately 945,450 kilowatt hours of energy annually, providing 100% of the winery’s annual energy consumption. The new solar energy system enables Hess to generate enough electricity each day to power 148 average homes. It will spare the air nearly 272 tons of harmful greenhouse gases annually. Over the next 30 years, the air pollution saved will be equivalent to eliminating almost 16 million miles of driving.

cs-img-hess-winery-napa-solar-mounting

System Specifications
System Size 649.0 kW DC
562.8 kW AC
Location Napa, CA
Solar Panel (2200) Hanwha 295 W
Inverter (1) Advanced Energy 500 kW
Mounting System PanelClaw Grizzly Bear ballast
mounting system
Estimated Annual kWh 945,450
Cumulative Cash Positive 5–6 Years

Customer Profile

Donald Hess established his first Napa Valley vineyard on Mount Veeder in 1978, and from the beginning, under his stewardship, The Hess Collection has been a leader in sustainability. Certified Sustainable by the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance and for both winery and vineyards by Napa Green, The Hess Collection is well known for combining twin passions under one roof at its historic home on Mount Veeder, where both The Hess Collection Winery and the world renowned Hess Collection Art Museum welcome visitors.

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Commercial Solar Case Study, Merryvale Vineyards

Winery Solar Electric Installation Project Profile

winery solar energySolarCraft both designed and built this 277 kW solar electric system for Merryvale’s new Starmont production facility at Stanly Ranch in Napa, CA, providing an estimated 90–100% of the winery’s annual electricity needs.

The winery’s building is roughly 64,000 square feet and now supports over (1,632) 170 watt Sharp solar panels. The 22,205 square feet of high capacity solar panels will generate roughly 277 kilowatts peak power. The system will generate enough electricity to virtually eliminate expensive peak-period usage, while also selling excess power back to the local utility company for credit. The credits are sold to the utility company at peak rates and the customer uses them back during nights and winter.

SolarCraft assisted Merryvale with the applications for the solar energy rebate program with the Public Utilities Commission. In 2006 the PUC approved the project and the system was installed.

The new system will enable Merryvale Vineyards to generate enough clean electricity each day to power 117 average homes. The new system will spare the air nearly 207 tons of harmful greenhouse gases annually, comparable to planting over 42 acres of trees. Over the next 30 years, the air pollution saved will be equivalent to driving over 14 million miles.

solar panels, winery

System Specifications
System Size 277 kW DC
235 kW AC
Location Napa, CA
Solar Panel (1632) Sharp 170 W
Inverter (2) SatCon 135 kW
Mounting System Unirac — Sunframe
Estimated Annual kWh 395,442
Cumulative Cash Positive 5–6 Years

Customer Profile
The first winery built in the Napa Valley following the repeal of Prohibition, Merryvale is located in the heart of the America’s premier wine region. Sumptuous Bordeaux varietal grapes (Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot) contribute to the legend that is ‘Profile’ — Merryvale’s exclusive red blend. Merryvale has the privilege of selecting the highest quality grapes from many outstanding Napa Valley vineyards.

Merryvale’s Starmont label includes classic varietal wines Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon.

“Solar energy is good for the environment and the reduction of greenhouse gases is good for the community. With rising energy costs and the generous rebates currently offered, going solar was an easy decision. SolarCraft was very flexible and their professionalism was exceptional.”
~ Alex Gunst, Pound Co., Construction Project Manager

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Commercial Solar Case Study, Ballentine Vineyards

Winery Solar Electric Installation Project Profile

Roof mount solar panels, Ballentine VineyardsSolarCraft both designed and built this 87 kW solar electric system for Ballentine Vineyards in St. Helena, CA. The project integrates both the winery building/tasting room and barrel storage on the property — now powered by the sun.
The system consists of (512) Mitsubishi 170 watt solar panels.

The 6,944 square feet of high capacity solar panels will generate roughly 87 kilowatts peak power. The system will generate enough electricity to virtually eliminate expensive peak-period usage, while also selling excess power back to the local utility company for credit. The credits are sold to the utility company at peak rates and the customer uses them back during nights and winter.

The new system will enable Ballentine Vineyards to generate enough clean electricity each day to power 38 average homes. The new system will spare the air nearly 67 tons of harmful greenhouse gases annually, comparable to planting over 13.5 acres of trees. Over the next 30 years, the air pollution saved will be equivalent to driving over 4.6 million miles.

solar panels closeup, Ballentine Vineyards

System Specifications
System Size 87 kW DC
76 kW AC
Location St. Helena, CA
Solar Panel (512) Mitsubishi 170W
Inverter SatCon 755 kW
Mounting System Custom
Estimated Annual kWh 114,169
Cumulative Cash Positive 5–6 Years

Customer Profile

Van Ballentine grew up in St. Helena — Ballentine Vineyard’s roots run very deep in Napa Valley. Ballentine owns 100 acres of vines spread among the Crystal Springs Vineyard at the base of Howell Mountain, Pocai Ranch between the Napa River and the Silverado Trail and the Home Vineyard at the winery. Ballentine focuses on red varietals; Zinfandel, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Syrah. The grapes used for their wines are all 100% estate grown.

Van Ballentine personally manages each vineyard.

“Our main reason for installing a PV system is to eliminate our high electric bills. We are now utilizing clean energy to reduce our costs. Solar energy makes good financial sense and the environmental benefits are an added bonus. The installation went very smoothly, and we are very pleased with the placement and esthetics of the system. SolarCraft exceeded our expectations.”
~ Van Ballentine, Owner

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Commercial Solar Case Study, Dana Estates Vineyard & Winery

Winery Solar Electric Installation Project Profile

commercial solar panels, Dana Estates, RutherfordIn addition to producing award-winning wines, Dana Estates Vineyard & Winery practices organic farming and stewardship of the land. The benefits from the sun’s renewable energy was the perfect fit.

SolarCraft was selected to design and install a 190 kW solar electric installation for their winery in Rutherford, CA. Dana Estates is now powered by free energy from the sun, providing significant savings for their Napa Valley vineyards and winery.

The project consists of six ground-mounted systems at several vineyard locations in the Rutherford/St. Helena area and the main winery facilities, offsetting close to 100% of their total electricity usage. Combined, the systems utilize a total of 800 Trina 235-watt panels generating approximately 300,250 kilowatt hours of energy annually.

Each of the 800 solar modules is controlled by a micro-inverter, manufactured by Enphase Energy of Petaluma, CA. Microinverters are small, compact units directly attached to each solar panel to convert power independently at the panel, maximizing energy production and reducing impacts from shading. Overall system efficiency is increased by 10-12%.

The new solar energy system will enable Dana Estates to generate enough electricity each day to power over 81 average homes. It will spare the air nearly 117 tons of harmful greenhouse gases annually. Over the next 30 years, the air pollution saved will be equivalent to eliminating over 8.1 million miles of driving.

commercial solar panels, Dana Estates Vineyard, Rutherford

System Specifications
System Size 190 kW DC
162 kW AC
Location Rutherford, CA
Solar Panel (800) Trina 235 W
Inverter (800) Enphase Energy M215
Mounting System IronRidge racking
Estimated Annual kWh 300,250
Cumulative Cash Positive 5–6 Years

Customer Profile
Dana Estates is located in the heart of Rutherford in the Napa Valley. The winery has been constructed around the original stone walls built in 1883 by vintner H.W. Helms.This is a “winemaker’s winery” and is set up entirely with their vineyards and small lots in mind. The Dana Estates’ 2007 Lotus Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon was one of just a few bottles to earn a perfect score of 100 points from wine critic Robert Parker.

“At Dana Estates the solar offset of our energy needs goes hand in hand with our Certified Organic Vineyards and our natural approach to winemaking. SolarCraft, as a local solar installer, was a clear choice for us. The local, hands-on management and detail oriented employees made the install easy and efficient.”
~ Cameron Vawter, Director of Production, Dana Estates

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Commercial Solar Case Study, Wine Country Shipping

Wine Industry Solar Electric Installation Project Profile

Wine Country solar energyWine Country Shipping and Wine Country Cellars have gone green — the leading shipper and wine storage facilities are now powered by the sun. SolarCraft completed the design and installation of a 89.7 kW solar electric system at their facility to help off-set the high utility bills and power usage. The 25,000 square-feet of temperature controlled warehouse space maintains a constant 58 degrees and is now run on solar power.

The roof-mounted solar system utilizes 390 Centrosolar 230 watt panels and spans 6,831 square feet, helping to insulate and shade the building. Additional energy is saved by the added insulation, reducing the building’s heating and cooling load. Each panel is controlled by an individual micro-inverter manufactured by Enphase Energy of Petaluma, CA. Unlike more conventional solar electric systems, the micro-inverters will allow the rest of the solar modules to produce at full capacity no matter how many panels are soiled or partially shaded. Micro-inverters greatly increase the overall system efficiency.

The system’s photovoltaic panels generate approximately 119,791 kilowatt hours of energy annually, providing over 80% of Wine Country Shipping and Wine Country Cellar’s electric needs with clean, renewable energy. The solar power produced each day is enough to power 45 average homes and spares the air nearly 79 tons of harmful greenhouse gases annually. Over the next 30 years, the air pollution saved will be equivalent to eliminating over 5.5 million miles of driving.

Sonoma County solar energy

System Specifications
System Size 89.7 kW DC
76.1 kW AC
Location Windsor, CA
Solar Panel (390) CentroSolar 230 W
Inverter (390) Enphase Energy M190
Mounting System ProSolar
Estimated Annual kWh 119,791
Cumulative Cash Positive 5–6 Years

Customer Profile
Wine Country Shipping and Wine Country Cellars provide shipping and storage services for over 150 wineries, helping with Tasting Room orders, Wine Clubs, Wine Writer shipments and Seasonal Mail Order Releases. With 25,000 square feet of temperature controlled warehouse space in two separate buildings in Windsor, Wine Country Shipping and Wine Country Cellars provides a full range of shipping and storage options for tasting rooms, retail outlets and hotels, as well as direct to consumer wine shipping and personal wine storage.

“It is a good thing to look at solar as an alternative energy source. I wanted to reduce my dependency on PG&E and it is an environmentally good thing to do. It made sense economically and environmentally. It’s the wave of the future.”
~ Dan Laskoski, Owner

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Commercial Solar Case Study, M.A. Silva Corks

Manufacturer Solar Electric Installation Project Profile

commercial solar panelsThe 103.4 kW solar electric system at M.A. Silva Corks, USA headquarters in Santa Rosa, CA provides 100% of their annual electric needs. The premier cork production facility is now fully powered by clean, renewable energy.

The system’s photovoltaic panels convert sunlight directly into electricity and will generate approximately 151,762 kilowatt hours of energy annually, providing all of their electric needs with solar power. The solar energy produced each day is enough to power 45 average homes. It spares the air nearly 80 tons of harmful greenhouse gases annually. Over the next 30 years, the air pollution saved will be equivalent to eliminating over 5.4 million miles of driving.

Going solar is only part of M.A. Silva Cork, USA’s commitment to environmentally conscious business practices. With Sonoma Green Business Program and ClimateSmart™ certified facilities, they’re committed to sustainability and eco-friendly operations.

The 103.4 kW photovoltaic system consists of three separate systems, powering the warehouse, production facility and offices. The combined, roof-mounted system utilizes (376) SunTech 275 watt panels and spans 8,475 square feet, helping to insulate and shade the building. Additional energy was saved by added insulation, reducing the building’s heating and cooling load. A ProSolar Tilt racking system was utilized to position the panels at an angle to maximize energy capture from the sun.

solar panels, manufacturera

System Specifications
System Size 103.4 kW DC
89.9 kW AC
Location Santa Rosa, CA
Solar Panel (376) SunTech 275 W
Inverter (1) Satcon PVS-75
(4) SMA SB6000US
Mounting System ProSolar w/ FastJack
Estimated Annual kWh 151,762
Cumulative Cash Positive 5–6 Years

Customer Profile

For 40 years, M.A. Silva Corks, USA and its production facilities M.A. Silva Cortiças in Portugal have been delivering the finest premium wine corks in the world. Based in Sonoma County California, M.A. Silva Corks, USA is a leading provider of premium natural wine corks, glass and packaging to North American markets. Its certified quality-assurance program ensures that products provide unmatched visual, mechanical, and sensory characteristics along with impeccable customer service to winemakers seeking to produce the finest wine, sparkling wine, and spirits.

“Using solar power to provide 100% of the energy needs for our facility further demonstrates our commitment to sustainability both in our business operation and our products.”
~ Neil Foster, President and Owner of M.A. Silva Corks, USA.

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Commercial Solar Case Study, Goldeneye Winery

Winery Solar Electric Installation Project Profile

winery roofmount solar panelsGoldeneye Winery’s 32.4 kW solar electric system in Philo was both designed and installed by SolarCraft. The winery, in the heart of Mendocino’s Andersen Valley, is now powered by the sun.

The solar electric system at Goldeneye consists of 144 SunPower 225 watt solar panels that will power Goldeneye’s winemaking operations with renewable, green energy. The roof-mounted system spans 2,100 square feet and is expected to generate 49,460 kilowatt hours annually. The solar panels provide clean electricity while insulating and protecting the roof. The added insulation saves energy by reducing the building’s heating and cooling load.

The new system will enable Goldeneye Winery to generate enough clean electricity each day to power over 14 average homes. It will spare the air nearly 25 tons of harmful greenhouse gases annually. Over the next 30 years, the air pollution saved will be equivalent to driving over 1.7 million miles. The system will pay for itself in approximately 6 years.

solar panels winery

System Specifications
System Size 32.4 kW DC
28.6 kW AC
Location Philo, CA
Solar Panel (144) SunPower 225 W
Inverter (6) SMA SB 6000US
Mounting System ProSolar on S-5!
Estimated Annual kWh 49,460
Cumulative Cash Positive 5–6 Years

Customer Profile

Goldeneye was founded in 1996 by Duckhorn Wine Company and is dedicated to crafting Pinot Noir wines in California’s acclaimed Anderson Valley winegrowing region. Goldeneye’s estate program consists of five estate vineyards, planted to 19 clones on 11 different rootstocks, giving the winery a rich and diverse palette of fruit from which to produce its wines. Duckhorn Wine Company is a collection of small winery estates focused on site-specific wines of distinction. The Duckhorn Wine Company family includes Goldeneye, Duckhorn Vineyards and Paraduxx. Duckhorn Wine Company wines are available throughout the United States and internationally.

“Because Goldeneye is dedicated to crafting world-class Pinot Noir from the Anderson Valley, our relationship with the environment is extremely important to us. As a result, when we set out to design and build a cutting-edge, energy-efficient winery, incorporating solar was a major part of our design criterion. Not only does the array SolarCraft installed for us sustainably address our energy usage, it also helps to mitigate our impact on the Earth in a way that reflects our identity, and our commitment to the Anderson Valley.”
~ Courtney Dyar, Operations Manager, Duckhorn Wine Company

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Commercial Solar Case Study, Sterling Vineyards

Winery Solar Electric Installation Project Profile

solar panels, Sterling VineyardsSterling Vineyards’ 72 kW solar electric system in the Napa Valley was both designed and installed by SolarCraft. Sterling’s famed aerial tram is now powered by the sun. The aerial tram at Sterling is the only one of its kind in Napa Valley, offering stunning views as visitors ride up to the winery, perched 300 feet above the town of Calistoga.

The 72 kW solar electric system at Sterling is comprised of two separate solar energy systems. One system will power Sterling’s aerial tram. This system is 55.5 kW, consisting of (264) SunPower PowerGuard 210 watt insulated solar roof tiles installed on the roof of the Reserve Winery located at the bottom of the hill. SunPower PowerGuard solar roof tiles provide reliable, clean electricity while insulating and protecting the roof. The added insulation saves up to 30% more energy by reducing the building’s heating and cooling load.

The second system is ground mounted and will provide power to the winery’s water treatment facility. It will generate 16.5 kW of power and consists of (72) SunPower high efficiency 230 watt panels.

The new system will enable Sterling Vineyards to generate enough clean electricity each day to power 36 average homes. The new system will spare the air nearly 64 tons of harmful greenhouse gases annually. Over the next 30 years, the air pollution saved will be equivalent to driving over 4.3 million miles. The system will pay for itself in 5-6 years.

System Specifications
System Size 277 kW DC
235 kW AC
Location Napa, CA
Solar Panel (1632) Sharp 170 W
Inverter (2) SatCon 135 kW
Mounting System Unirac — Sunframe
Estimated Annual kWh 395,442
Cumulative Cash Positive 5–6 Years

Customer Profile
Sterling’s iconic winery is perched high above the town of Calistoga on a mid-valley hill. Sterling Vineyards is well known for offering guests the most unique winery tour in Napa Valley. From the aerial tram up the mountain to the bold beauty of the winery’s Greek-inspired architecture, from the comprehensive self-guided tour to the stunning wines themselves, Sterling Vineyards has attracted visitors for over 30 years. Sterling Vineyards wine is produced by Diageo Chateau & Estate Wines (DC&E), part of Diageo, the world’s leading premium drinks business.

“Sterling has long had a commitment to sustainable farming practices and a concern for preserving our unique Napa environment. The conversion of the memorable Sterling Tram to clean, renewable solar power just makes environmental and economic sense. This is another step in our overall commitment to increase our conservation efforts.”
~ Michael Westrick, VP Winemaking, Sterling Vineyards

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Commercial Solar Case Study, Trione Vineyards

Winery Solar Electric Installation Project Profile

Geyserville, CA winery solarTrione Vineyards & Winery’s 39.2 kW solar electric system was both designed and installed by SolarCraft. The winery’s new tasting room and production facility in Geyserville, CA are now powered by the sun.

Trione’s new 11,700 square foot facility now supports 210 Sharp 187 watt solar panels. SolarCraft utilized Sharp’s OnEnergy™ racking system. Its sleek design is engineered to sit low to the roof, improving the visual appearance of the system. The complete installation blends handsomely into the roof, becoming an integrated part of the building. The solar energy system will provide up to 50% of the winery’s annual electrical needs.

The new solar system will enable Trione to generate enough clean electricity each day to power 17 average homes. The new system will spare the air nearly 29 tons of harmful greenhouse gases annually, or 880 tons over the life of the system. Over the next 30 years, the air pollution saved will be equivalent to driving over 2 million miles. This is equivalent to planting over 6 acres of trees. The system will pay for itself in approximately 6 years and will continue to provide free, clean, renewable energy for decades to come.

winery solar power

System Specifications
System Size 39 kW DC
33 kW AC
Location Geyserville, CA
Solar Panel (210) Sharp 187W
Inverter (5) SMA SB 7000US
Mounting System Sharp OnEnergy
Estimated Annual kWh 53,477
Cumulative Cash Positive 5–6 Years

Customer Profile
For 35 harvests, for 35 Septembers, the Trione family has carefully farmed and managed some of the finest grapes in Sonoma County. With painstaking devotion to the land, three generations — Henry Trione, sons Mark and Vic, and Mark’s daughter Denise — have developed a reputation for producing premium grapes.

The Old Stone Winery building, the centerpiece of Trione Vineyards & Winery, is one of the oldest winery tasting rooms in the county. Recently seismically retrofitted, records show it has been in operation since 1935.

“Our decision to go solar followed our original plan to combine technology, aesthetics, and good use of materials in the construction of the winery. From a financial standpoint, the decision was easy – we expect the installation to provide 50% of our electrical needs, saving us over $750,000 over its lifetime. We chose SolarCraft because they are a sound regional firm, and we’ve seen examples of their work. The installation went smoothly, and it looks terrific. We highly recommend SolarCraft for your solar needs.”
~ John Hamann, Treasurer, Trione Vineyards & Winery

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Commercial Solar Case Study, Jacuzzi Family Vineyards

Winery Solar Electric Installation Project Profile

groudmount solar panel arrayThe 124 kW solar electric system at Jacuzzi Family Vineyards is comprised of two separate solar energy systems. Each system uses 374 Mitsubishi Electric 165 watt panels and one Satcon 50 kW inverter, for a total system use of 748 solar panels and 2 inverters.

Going solar is part of Jacuzzi Family Vineyard’s commitment to environmentally conscious business and sustainable farming practices. Mitsubishi Electric solar panels are the most eco-friendly solar panels available. They are the first to use 100% lead-free solder in their solar panels.

The system is 124 kW DC power and is CEC rated at 103 kW AC power. The solar electric system will produce an estimated 185,130 kWh annually, not including any additional production from the tracking array which could potentially add an additional 37,026 kWh annually, for a total of 222,156 kWh.

The new solar energy system generates enough clean electricity each day to power 82 average homes. The new system will spare the air nearly 91 tons of harmful greenhouse gases annually, or 2,726 tons over the life of the system. Over the next 30 years, the air pollution saved will be equivalent to driving over 6.3 million miles. This is equivalent to planting over 18 acres of trees.

Each of the two systems connects to a separate PG&E electric meter, each of which provides electricity to the Jacuzzi Winery Building and the water well and fire pumps. There are two main PG&E meters servicing the entire property, thus the two separate solar energy systems.

pole mounted solar panelsOne solar energy system provides nearly 100% of the electricity for the water well and fire pumps. This 61.7 kW system is comprised of two different mounting systems that hold the solar panels in a fixed position facing directly south. Single pole mount & ground mount structures were used due to limited ground space. The single pole mounting was used to ensure the panels were above any tree shading.

The second structure consists of long rows of ground-mounted panels east to west. Located in the south and southeastern section of the solar field, both are fixed mounted, tilted directly south.

The remaining 61.7 kW portion is mounted on a single axis tracking system, allowing the solar panels to follow the sun throughout the day, providing 15–20% more energy production. This system provides electricity to the winery building and is located closest to the building, mounted in long rows north to south.

A solar energy panel produces the greatest amount of electricity when it is perpendicular to the sun — as opposed to an angle. A single axis solar tracking system enables the solar panels to follow the sun as it travels through the sky each day. The panels start the morning facing east where the sun rises, at noon they are flat, finally facing west at the end of the day. The system returns to east at sundown and waits for the whole process to begin again the next morning. This system requires more square footage, so it was determined that only the winery building will get a tracking system due to space constraints.

The system is currently the largest test case known for comparison between tracking and fixed arrays with identical equipment on the same site. SolarCraft will be monitoring the system very closely with a remote monitoring system and using the data to determine the exact benefits versus cost of tracking systems.

The system is expected to pay for itself in 6 years. By taking advantage of the federal tax credit, state rebates, and accelerated depreciation, Jacuzzi Vineyards was able to reduce the total system cost by nearly 75%.

winery solar groundmount panels

System Specifications
System Size 53.6 kW DC
46.1 kW AC
Location San Anselmo, CA
Solar Panel (32) Centrosolar 235 W
(192) Centrosolar 240 W
Inverter (224) Enphase Energy M215
Mounting System SnapNrack / Custom
Estimated Annual kWh 90,000
Cumulative Cash Positive 5–6 Years

Customer Profile

The beautiful 18,000-square-foot, rustic-Italian stone structure at Jacuzzi Family Vineyards was inspired by the Jacuzzi family home in Udine, Italy. The winery sits on 190 acres in the Carneros region of Sonoma at Arnold Drive across from Cline Cellars.

The winery honors the family, Italian immigrants, who came to America in the early 1900s. Owned and operated by descendants of the Jacuzzi family of well pump and spa fame, the winery produces 18 different wines under the Jacuzzi Family labels.

“Our commitment to sustainable business practices is extremely important to us and it’s a great feeling to know that our winery is being powered by solar energy. Overall, I am impressed with how painless the process was from start to finish.”
~ Fred Cline, Jacuzzi Family Vineyards

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Commercial Solar Case Study, Raymond Burr Vineyard

Winery Solar Electric Installation Project Profile

winery solar panelsIn keeping with its policy of “living lightly on the land,” one of Sonoma County’s best-known boutique wineries has gone solar. Raymond Burr Vineyards chose SolarCraft to design and install their 36 kilowatt solar electric system to power operations for the premium winemaking and exotic orchids facilities. Both designed and built by SolarCraft, this solar electric system is designed to provide 100% of the winery’s annual electricity consumption for its operation in the Dry Creek Valley of Sonoma, CA.

The photovoltaic (PV) system will power major winery operations, including the tasting room, storage facilities, and two greenhouses. Two homes on the Dry Creek Valley property will also be run by the solar electric system, ensuring 100% of the annual electric needs for operations. Raymond Burr Vineyards received a commercial installation rebate of approximately 50% of the cost of the system and expects to save up to $11,000 per year in electrical expenses. Robert Benevides, owner of the Vineyard, says he decided to install the system to complement the Vineyard’s current environmental practices, as well as to save money on its operations costs. The system is expected to pay for itself in just over 6 years.

Benevides said the system would also help to control costs at the Vineyard. “Wineries certainly do use a lot of power,” he said. “We have to irrigate the grapes, which means during the summer we have pumps going almost continually. Our tasting room is open seven days a week, and we have power throughout the tasting room and storage facilities.

The project included an energy saving polyurethane foam roof before the solar electric system was installed. The system was installed on multiple buildings that required comprehensive electrical engineering as well as new electrical feeds.

Raymond Burr sign

System Specifications
System Size 36 kW DC
31 kW AC
Location Sonoma, CA
Solar Panel (208) Sharp 175W
Inverter (1) PV Powered 2800
(6) PV Powered 5200
Mounting System Custom
Estimated Annual kWh 45,000
Cumulative Cash Positive 6 Years

Customer Profile
The Raymond Burr Vineyard, originally founded by Robert Benevides and the actor Raymond Burr of the hit 50s television show “Ironside”, now showcases multiple award winning wines from a truly beautiful vineyard.

The grapes were planted in 1986: Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, and, for the proprietors, a small section of Port — the bare-root stock imported from Portugal. The vineyard is also home to Mr. Benevides’ world renowned classic orchid farm.

“I am a lifelong member of the Sierra Club, and I have always been an environmentalist. Our winery is a no-tool vineyard that is insecticide free. Solar is a great way to go and will expand our environmental portfolio. Wineries need to reduce their impact on the environment and solar is one way to do it. We want those who enjoy our wines to know they were made with green power.”
~ Robert Benevides, Owner, Raymond Burr Vineyard

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Commercial Solar Case Study, Dutcher Crossing

Winery Solar Electric Installation Project Profile

winery solar panelsSolarCraft both designed and built this 33 kW solar electric system for the Dutcher Crossing Winery in Healdsburg, CA. The project integrates both the winery building and Estate House on the property — now powered by the sun.

The system consists of (195) Mitsubishi 170 watt solar panels — both ground and roof mounted. The 2,680 square feet of high capacity solar panels will generate roughly 33 kilowatts peak power. The system will generate enough electricity to virtually eliminate expensive peak-period usage, while also selling excess power back to the local utility company for credit. The credits are sold to the utility company at peak rates and the customer uses them back during nights and winter.

Dutcher Crossing’s new solar system generates enough clean electricity each day to power 14 average homes. The new system will spare the air nearly 25 tons of harmful greenhouse gases annually, or 741 tons over the life of the system. Over the next 30 years, the air pollution saved will be equivalent to driving over 1.7 million miles. This is equivalent to planting over 5 acres of trees. The system will pay for itself in approximately 6 years.

winery solar electric

System Specifications
System Size 33 kW DC
28 kW AC
Location Healdsburg, CA
Solar Panel (195) Mitsubishi 170W
Inverter (5) SMA SB 6000US
Mounting System Custom
Estimated Annual kWh 50,000
Cumulative Cash Positive 5–6 Years

Customer Profile

Dutcher Crossing has come to represent an authentic and enjoyable experience for wine-lovers who visit this small winery. Dutcher Crossing Winery was conceived and built by the Nevins and Stevens families following their purchase of the Dry Creek vineyard property in 2001. Proprietor Debra Mathy, who is an environmental enthusiast, joined the Dutcher Crossing Family in March 2007.

The Dutcher Crossing winemaking style is best described as “Hand Crafted”. The wines receive the hands-on attention required to produce wines of the exceptional quality that exhibit the intense flavors and character of each varietal.

“Our commitment to improving the environment and sustainable farming practices is extremely important to us at Dutcher Crossing. We are excited to inform our customers that we have recently installed a solar energy system at the winery with the goal of being energy independent. The system was designed by SolarCraft to esthetically blend in to our beautiful natural vineyard surrounding.”
~ Jim Stevens, Dutcher Crossing Vineyards

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Commercial Solar Case Study, Cline Cellars

Winery Solar Electric Installation Project Profile

winery solar panelsBoth designed and built by SolarCraft of Novato, California, this large commercial solar electric system will provide 100% of the winery’s annual electricity consumption for its production facility in Carneros, CA.

The custom engineered aluminum mounting structure works well with the structural capacity of the winery’s steel warehouse and fermentation buildings, while giving the panels a slight tilt to the south. The winery’s roof is roughly 50,000 square feet and now supports 1974 Sharp 208 watt solar panels. The 34,625 square feet of high capacity solar panels will generate roughly 411 kilowatts peak. The system will generate enough electricity to completely eliminate expensive peak-period usage, while also selling excess power back to the local utility company for credit. The credits are sold to the utility company at peak rates and the customer uses them back during nights and winter.

SolarCraft assisted Cline with the applications for the solar energy rebate program with the Public Utilities Commission. In March 2005 the PUC approved the project and the system was installed.

Cline Cellars’ goal is to be energy independent — creating predictable energy and costs. Towards that goal, SolarCraft first assessed and reduced the winery’s energy demands. SolarCraft advised Cline Cellars to install energy saving lights throughout the facility, and an insulating urethane foam roof that reduces cooling costs in the summer by up to 30 percent. The winery also contracted SolarCraft to completely upgrade its electrical infrastructure to support the increased capacity.

groundmount solar panels in winery vineyard

System Specifications
System Size 411 kW DC
351 kW AC
Location Sonoma, CA
Solar Panel (1974) Sharp 208W
Inverter (1) AE Solaron 333 kW
Mounting System Unirac — Sunframe
Estimated Annual kWh 586,000
Cumulative Cash Positive 5–6 Years

Customer Profile

Cline Cellars is a family owned and operated winery that produces super and ultra-premium wines in the Carneros district of Sonoma Valley. The winery specializes in handcrafted Zinfandels and Rhone style wines that are bold and well structured and sourced from their vineyards in Sonoma and Contra Costa Counties. Cline Cellars produces and markets wines under the following labels: Cline Cellars, Red Truck and White Truck.

Just 45 minutes north of San Francisco in Sonoma’s premier wine country, Cline Cellars was once the site of a Miwok Village and the first camp of the Sonoma Mission.

“SolarCraft worked with us every step of the way. We are very happy with the form and function of the panels. This has been a win-win project from the beginning. The winery is eliminating huge energy bills, flat-lining our operating budget for energy costs and improving air quality by reducing 690,000 lbs. of noxious greenhouse gases per year. Project timing was ideal to capture both the state rebate incentive and new federal tax credits.”
~ Peggy Phelan, Director of Operations, Cline Cellars Vineyard

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Commercial Solar Case Study, Paramount Farms

Agriculture Solar Electric Installation Project Profile

agriculture solar energy, California Central ValleySolarCraft both designed and built this 1.1 Megawatt solar energy system for Paramount Farms, Inc., the world’s largest vertically integrated supplier of pistachios and almonds, at their Lost Hills, CA orchards and processing facility.

The system utilizes groundmounted, UniSolar® Amorphous Thin Film Photovoltaic (PV) panels. Spanning 8 acres, it is one of the largest single-site, privately-owned solar energy systems in the U.S.

The new solar energy system enables Paramount Farms to generate enough clean electricity each day to power 502 average homes. The new system will spare the air nearly 885 tons of harmful greenhouse gases annually, comparable to planting over 177 acres of trees. Over the next 30 years, the air pollution saved will be equivalent to driving over 61.1 million miles.

Paramount’s goal is to utilize green energy and create predicable energy and costs. Stewardship of the environment has always been a core value of Paramount Farms. Groundbreaking research and development has led the way to pioneering advances in agriculture and orchard management, including the reduction of pesticide use by nearly 50% and water conservation.

California Central Valley solar power

System Specifications
System Size 1,116 kW DC
1,004 kW AC
Location Lost Hills, CA
Solar Panel (8,208) UniSolar
136W
Mounting System Custom
Estimated Annual kWh 1,613,089
Cumulative Cash Positive 5–6 Years

Customer Profile
Paramount Farms, a company with a long established history building successful produce brands including Sunkist® California Pistachios, a top seller; and Sunkist® Almond Accents,® the leading flavored, sliced almond topping. Their 28,000 acres of pistachio orchards are the largest in the Western Hemisphere. And in a state famous for its almonds, they are proud to be California’s largest almond grower, with more than 24,000 acres of permanent almond orchards. That’s more than four million trees producing in excess of 30 billion nuts annually.

“Paramount Farms, a leader in the farming community, is committed to a balanced green strategy, one that utilizes clean energy to reduce costs and improve efficiency. We’re pleased to break ground on the first phase of a long-term, comprehensive, solar-power initiative.”
~ Dave Szeflin, Vice President, Operations

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Commercial Solar Case Study, Wellington Vineyards

Winery Solar Electric Installation Project Profile

Sonoma County solar winerySolarCraft both designed and built this 30 kW solar electric system for Wellington Vineyards in Glen Ellen, CA, providing 100% of the winery’s annual electricity needs.

The winery’s building is roughly 5,000 square feet and now supports (174) Mitsubishi 170 watt solar panels. These solar modules comply with the highest environmental standards, using reliable, lead-free fabrication techniques that improve the power efficiency. The 2,400 square feet of high capacity solar panels will generate roughly 30 kilowatts peak power. The system will generate enough electricity to virtually eliminate expensive peak-period usage, while also selling excess power back to the local utility company for credit. The credits are sold to the utility company at peak rates and the customer uses them back when needed, such as during nights and winter.

A certified Sonoma County Green Business, utilizing green energy was Wellington’s primary motivation for installing the PV system.

Wellington’s new solar system will generate enough clean electricity each day to power 12.5 average homes. The new system will spare the air nearly 22 tons of harmful greenhouse gases annually, comparable to planting over 4 acres of trees. Over the next 30 years, the air pollution saved will be equivalent to driving over 1.5 million miles.

solar power winery

System Specifications
System Size 30 kW DC
26 kW AC
Location Glen Ellen, CA
Solar Panel (174) Mitsubishi 170W
Inverter (5) SMA SB 6000US
Mounting System ProSolar
Estimated Annual kWh 40,586
Cumulative Cash Positive 5–6 Years

Customer Profile
Wellington Vineyards is a family winery owned by the father and son team, John and Peter Wellington. They practice sustainable agriculture, using a blend of organic and traditional farming practices that promote healthy vines and a healthy environment. The estate vineyards consist of 21 acres, 8 of which are 81 to 113 years old, with the most common being Zinfandel, Carignan, Alicante Bouschet, Grenache and Syrah. In addition, there are 10 acres of 11 to 16 year old vines that consist of Merlot, Chardonnay, Marsanne, and Syrah.

Wellington’s first vintage was 1989. Close to 50% of their wine is sold through the tasting room; availability elsewhere is and will continue to be extremely limited.

“It’s the right thing to do. Solar energy is good for the environment and the reduction of greenhouse gases is good for the community. With the financial incentives, it’s a no-brainer. SolarCraft was chosen for the job based on their reputation and long track record in the industry.”
~ Peter Wellington, Co-Owner, Wellington Vineyards
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