WINERY HARNESSES SUN POWER
MORE AND MORE WINERIES are tapping into the power of the sun and not just for growing grapes. Constellation Brands is in the process of implementing the world’s largest winery solar energy system at its Gonzales California facility. The company anticipates the project to be completed in early this year. Once in place, the solar energy system is expected to produce more than 1.7 million kilowatt hours of electricity per year, which will provide approximately 5O% of the winery’s total energy requirements. Electricity will also be exported to local residential customers during the winery’s non-peak use periods. Through partnerships with Pacific Power Management, Mitsubishi Electric and Pacific Gas and Electric, 6358 solar panels are being installed on the roof of the main building at the Gonzales winery, which is located near Monterey, CA. The project, which is designed to decrease greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, is estimated through the lifetime of the system to annually reduce the facility’s carbon footprint in an amount equivalent to planting 25OO acres of trees, not driving an average automobile 25 million miles, or taking more than 2OOO automobiles off the road. Wines produced at Gonzales include Robert Mondavi Private Selection, Solaire by Robert Mondavi, Black Box, and Hayman & Hill.