Landmark Napa Valley Winery Converts Aerial Tram to Solar Power
Novato-based SolarCraft announced today the completion a 72 kW solar electric system at Sterling Vineyards in the Napa Valley. Sterling’s famed aerial tram is now powered by the sun. Each year the celebrated tram carries more than 200,000 visitors to the Sterling Vineyards winery perched 300 feet above the town of Calistoga.
“Sterling has long had a commitment to sustainable farming practices and a concern for preserving our unique Napa environment,” said Michael Westrick, Vice President of Winemaking for Sterling Vineyards. “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, whether through longstanding support of The Land Trust of Napa Valley, the launch of Sterling Vineyards Made with Organic Grapes or our membership in the global movement 1% For The Planet.”
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. R-10 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 approximately 6 years.
About Sterling Vineyards
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.
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