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Foster’s Installs Solar Power At 6 California Wineries

berringer_vineyard.jpgFoster’s Wine Estates plans to install solar energy systems at six of its California wineries, including Beringer Vineyards, Asti winery, Chateau St. Jean, Etude, Stags’ Leap Winery, and Meridian Vineyards.

SolarNet will install solar photovoltaic panels to the roofs of the wineries over the next six months.

When fully operational, the systems will generate 3.4m Kilowatt Hours of electricity per year, or 17 percent of the energy used at the six sites.

Last month, Foster’s announced it was offsetting all of the carbon emissions of its new lager, Cascade Green. Last year, Foster’s began generating energy from brewery waste water by using sugar-consuming bacteria.

A number of wineries installed solar power last year as reported here (highlights below):

Grgich Hills winery completed a PV installation that will produce 170.08 kilowatts of electricity during peak production hours. When combined with an earlier solar system, the PV system meets 100% of the winery’s energy needs.

Napa Valley’s Merryvalle Vineyards installed a 277kW solar electric system for Starmont Winery.

Sonoma’s Rodney Strong Vineyards has a 766 kW system installed by PowerLight. It was the largest for a U.S. winery until last June when Fetzer installed a 901kW photovoltaic solar panel system on the roofs of the bottling facility and Red Wine Barrel Room at its winery in Hopland.

Sonoma’s Cline Cellars made the switch to solar last year. The system now provides 100 percent of the winery’s annual electricity consumption for its production facility. The winery’s roof spans 50,000 square feet and supports nearly 2,000 Sharp 208 watt solar panels, which generate 411 kilowatts at peak.

Other wineries with solar systems include St. Francis, Quivira Vineyards, and Shafer Vineyards, to name just three.

Last summer, Robert Keenan Winery stamped the words “Solar Powered and Sustainably Farmed,” on the label of its 2006 Napa Valley Summer Blend Chardonnay after installing a solar power system on their property.

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