Solar booze

GE Energy’s solar electric power systems were recently installed by Premier Power at Shafer Vineyards in Napa, CA, making it the first winery in the wine country of Napa and Sonoma counties to move to 100% solar power.

GE Energy’s solar electric power systems will supply Shafer Vineyards with 100% of its power needs, including providing power to the winery’s offices and processing facilities, as well as its large barrel refrigeration rooms.

Premier Power designed the 129kW solar electric system, which features 784 of GE Energy’s GEPV165 solar power modules. Each solar power module generates a peak power of 165W.

Premier Power, GE’s Northern California distributor, integrated its system into Shafer Vineyards’ landscaping and existing structures. The system consists of three sub systems: two 50 kW east/west rooftop systems, and a 29 kW combined south rooftop and a ground-mounted system. The system should produce approximately 12,900 kWh per month or approximately 155,000 kWh per year. The entire system could power roughly 20 to 30 average US homes.

The winery is on track to receive a rebate of up to $490,000 from Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) through the local utility’s Self-Generation Incentive Program, which covers up to half the cost of clean, on-site electric generating systems.

The winery expects the project to pay for itself in energy cost savings in seven to eight years. The winery will begin its first solar powered wine production when the bottling line starts up this month.