Wine Co-op Uncorks Solar-Electric Plan for California Facilities

Wine Co-op Uncorks Solar-Electric Plan for California Facilities

The Wine Service Co-Operative has commissioned a 424 kW solar electric system for two of their Napa Valley wine storage and distribution centers.

Comprised of two solar electric systems (195 kW and 229 kW), the projects will be installed atop the Wine Co-op's St. Helena and South Napa facilities. These solar arrays will generate enough electricity during the day to power over 400 homes, and, combined with energy efficiency measures, provide up to 100% of the facilities annual energy needs, substantially reducing operating costs. The project is scheduled for completion by summer 2005.

"The co-op's objective was to use solar power to offset its annual electricity bill without adversely affecting its cash flow," said Gopal Shanker, president of Wine Business Strategies, the company which developed the solar RFP for the Wine Service Co-operative. "After an extensive review of top-notch vendor proposals, the Wine Service co-operative chose PowerLight's solar electric system."

PowerLight's tilted solar roof system at the Wine Service Co-op features modules with a 10-degree tilt to maximize exposure to Napa’s abundant sunshine. The lightweight, photovoltaic roofing assembly generates clean solar electricity, protects the roof from the damaging effects of weather and UV radiation, and is installed without penetrating the roof surface. The solar arrays, which consist of 2,125 high efficiency solar modules manufactured by Sharp, will cover a total of 38,000 square feet. These solar arrays leverage an unused asset—the facilities’ roofs—to generate clean power and reduce operating costs. When combined with lighting upgrades, the solar generation system will substantially eliminate the facilities annual electricity requirements. Over the next 30 years, this solar electric system will spare the environment from tons of polluting emissions, such as CO2, NOx, and SO2, that contribute to smog, acid rain and global climate change.

In addition to solar generation, PowerLight deployed energy-saving lighting upgrades at the Napa warehouse using high efficiency, high output linear fluorescent technology. Additional energy efficiency measures performed by the Wine Co-op included additional insulation in the roofing system, and the replacement of air conditioning package units.

"As a solar energy supporter who’s recently installed a solar array at my winery, it was the logical next step to recommend to my Wine Co-op colleagues that they purchase a solar electric system," said John Williams, president of Frog’s Leap Vineyards. "By deploying solar power, the Wine Co-op will realize the environmental and economic benefits of this technology."