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Yealands Wine Group Rolls Out Solar Panel Initiative

Published: Thu 13 Oct 2016 04:17 PM
13 October 2016
Yealands Wine Group Rolls Out Largest Solar Panel Initiative in New Zealand
Vineyard’s solar installation reinforces its position as a global leader in sustainability
Yealands Wine Group has firmly established itself as a leader in renewable energy with its latest initiative - the largest solar panel installation in the country at its vineyard in Marlborough.
The company’s iconic Seaview Vineyard has just installed 918 photovoltaic panels to bring the total PV panels to 1,314 on its winery roof. This means the vineyard is now capable of generating 411.12 kiloWatts of solar power – the equivalent to powering 86 New Zealand homes - while offsetting 82 tonnes of CO2emissions.
“We already had a pretty substantial solar array in place, but it takes a lot to power any kind of building and a winery’s no different. By increasing the size of our solar array we will decrease our reliance on the national grid and generate 30% of the power we require to power our tank coolers, computers, you name it. I've always been passionate about renewable energy and also about self-reliance. We have been carbon neutral since inception but that doesn't mean we can just sit back. Our new solar panels will further help reduce our carbon emissions and keep us true to our claim of being the most sustainable winery in the world,” said Peter Yealands, Founder & Principal.
The solar installation is part of the company’s continued effort to reduce its reliance on the national grid for energy. It will generate 30% of the winery’s average electricity needs from tank cooling and powering pumps to running presses.
Last year, Yealands reduced its electricity consumption from the grid by 10 per cent and CO2 emissions were reduced by 90 metric tonnes. The new installation is expected to cut the winery’s carbon footprint by a further 82 tonnes annually, with an estimated 505,000 kWh of solar energy forecast for the first year.
The solar panel installation took a six person team four weeks to complete. The panels were installed on the northern side of the winery’s roof to ensure optimum solar energy capture throughout the day and allow for the maximum number of panels to be installed.
The Yealands installation was made possible through PowerSmart GOLD which allows companies to buy locally produced solar power without actually having to own the system.
CEO of PowerSmart Michael Bassett-Smith said that the company aimed to work with likeminded companies that are forward thinking and innovative.
“When Yealands approached us for help to improve its already energy efficient vineyard we were keen to assist these pioneers in renewable energy,” Mr Bassett-Smith said. “We’re very proud of what we’ve achieved with this project using PowerSmart GOLD- the finished solar system looks fantastic and we’re excited to have installed the largest solar PV system in New Zealand yet again.”
PowerSmart is the company responsible for designing and installing the next two largest solar power PV systems in New Zealand at Sylvia Park Mall (355kW) and Tarewa Mega Mall (240kW).
For more information or to watch time lapse footage of the solar installation, visit www.yealands.co.nz/solar
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