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Kendall-Jackson sows the seeds of greener wines

Kendall-Jackson Winery has been picking the low-hanging fruit for years, and we’re not just talking about grapes.

Energy conservation has saved the family-owned winery about $2.5 million annually during the last few years from projects that include a companywide lighting retrofit and new variable-frequency drives that act as dimmers for high-efficiency motors.

It isn’t the first time we've seen wineries delve into sustainability; several are helping to establish green performance metrics and taking a hard look at packaging. But four years after launching its centralized sustainability program, Kendall-Jackson is taking its energy strategy to a new level.

A 241-kilowatt solar cogeneration system commissioned in late 2011 -- which Kendall-Jackson officially unveiled Thursday -- will turn sunlight into energy and hot water, saving the winery an additional $30,000 in annual energy costs.

The solar cogeneration system from Mountain View, Calif.-based Cogenra Solar covers more than 9,000 square feet of rooftop space at Kendall-Jackson’s Kittyhawk campus in Windsor, Calif., located just a few miles from the company’s flagship wine center, pictured above and below.  

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