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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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