Wine. It brings people together, enhances cooking and helps us relax after a long day. But the time, energy and commitment that goes into just one bottle of wine is considerable. Winemakers are faced with high energy usage due to the time and processes that it takes to produce a fine drop.
Written by Justine Summers
Devoted to the future
Sustainability is a key component for the wine industry, as winemakers plan years ahead to ensure a successful harvest each season. Due to the threat of climate change and the requirement of a stable climate to maintain consistent harvest and quality, wineries have a vested interest in preserving the environment for future generations. But saving the environment isn’t the only concern for winemakers.
With machinery in constant operation, wineries are, by nature, high energy users. The main culprit of energy consumption is the process of heating and cooling produce throughout the fermenting process. Being able to precisely regulate temperatures is crucial to ensure that wine isn’t spoiled by killing off the yeast colonies too soon. Even after fermentation, the need to regulate temperature continues as the product is bottled and stored, ready for sale and transport. Given the importance of each of these stages of production, it can be difficult for wineries to find ways to reduce their energy use. They can’t stop using electricity, but they can turn to nature as a power source.
Harness the sun
Lucky for us Aussies, we have some of the best solar irradiation in the world. With wineries being situated outside of city centres, with no tall buildings blocking the sun, solar is a perfect long-term solution for wineries. With an average of 2,000–3,000 hours of daylight every year, Australians have ample opportunity to harness such a powerful energy source. The benefit of utilising such an abundant resource is that it enables us to become more self-sufficient and reduces dependency on power-grids, especially during peak usage hours. Since a winemaker’s electricity demands aren’t likely to decrease any-time soon, being able to use nature as an energy source is a great way to reduce energy costs.
A solar solution
When it comes to installing solar, one issue that many wineries face is the cost. The up-front costs associated with the purchase and installation of solar can be a major barrier. The fix: Solar Flex. An agreement to purchase low cost electricity generated from the solar system, rather than buying the solar power system, Solar Flex means no upfront costs for the solar system itself and lower energy rates.
What makes Solar Flex especially great for wineries? There’s no need to worry about the installation or maintenance of the solar system. Origin will recommend the system, tailored to the energy needs of the individual winery, and arrange the installation. Origin will also take care of the maintenance of the solar system as well.
Rising in popularity, solar is becoming a favoured choice by winemakers across the country. And it’s no wonder why, the environmental and cost benefits that solar offers are huge, aligning with what matters to winemakers. To find out more about how we can help you get started with solar on your winery, contact us on 1300 134 138, Monday – Friday, 8 am-5 pm.
About the author
Justine works in our Origin Business Solar department, and has a background in Marketing and PR. Justine is an fan of sustainable, minimalist lifestyles & is a self-proclaimed vegetarian recipe master – trying her hardest to convince the masses that meat free meals are still delicious.