Stellar Energy completes 454 kW PV project for Jordan Vineyard & Winery

Stellar Energy, a large solar energy engineering, procurement and construction provider, announced it has completed a 454 Kilowatt (kW) solar project at Jordan Vineyard & Winery in Healdsburg, Calif. The solar photovoltaic array consists of 1,932 modules composed of 100% American made equipment—quite uncommon in this country due to the higher cost of U.S.-manufactured products.

The solar power generated is expected to offset the family-owned and operated winery’s utility bill by 99% and save the winery nearly $4.9 million in electricity costs over the next 30 years. Prior to installing solar, Jordan chose to focus its efforts on a six-year program to reduce its energy consumption to the lowest possible level before switching to solar power.

“I felt strongly about reducing our energy use before converting to solar,” said Tim Spence, director of operations at Jordan Vineyard & Winery. “In the rush to get off the grid, many businesses have been ‘solarizing’ their inefficiencies—putting marketing before true sustainability and using the sun to power their overconsumption of energy. Reduce use first: that’s been our guiding principle.”

From 2007 to 2010, Jordan installed “cool roofs”, new refrigeration units, new warehouse doors, pre-insulated piping systems, LED lighting and also enrolled in PG&E ClimateSmart™ to reach its initial electricity-reduction goals. The winery’s electrical demand decreased by 25% due to this aggressive action program, and energy use was certified carbon neutral through ClimateSmart. Jordan was among the first wineries certified in the Sonoma Green Business Program and the winery’s energy use was certified carbon neutral in 2009, through the purchase of Renewable Energy Credits (RECs).

“California’s bountiful sunshine has nurtured our grapevines for 40 years, and this harvest, we’ll use that same sunlight to power all of our crush equipment for the 2012 vintage,” said John Jordan, chief executive officer of Jordan Vineyard & Winery. “The Jordan Winery solar project is another example of Stellar Energy’s expertise in designing and installing complex, ground-mounted solar installations on steep hillsides,” said Matt Lugar, VP of Sales and Marketing at Stellar Energy. “Jordan Winery’s new solar energy system will allow them to use clean solar energy to produce their wines for decades to come.”

Jordan’s American-made solar system was mounted on a hillside behind the winery to maximize the southern exposure sunshine and preserve the traditional, elegant look of the winery chateau buildings. The official switch from electrical to solar power took place July 2. According to Spence, the winery’s 2013 electricity bill should drop to $75 annually—compared to $145,000 in 2011.

For complete details about this solar powered winery see http://www.stellarenergy.com/case-studies/commercial-solar/agriculture/item/jordan-vineyard-winery.html Videos and photos of the solar installation are available at http://blog.jordanwinery.com/2012/07/hillside-solar-array-installation-time-lapse-video-photos/