SolarCraft logo
Request an estimate for solar
415.382.7717 | 707.778.0568

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

Read more commercial case studies