GONZALES, Calif., Oct. 7 2008 - Constellation Wines U.S. (CWUS) today announced that it has begun installation of the largest winery solar power energy system in the world at its Gonzales Winery, located in Monterey County, Calif. The one megawatt solar system will cover approximately 170,000 square feet of the main winery warehouse roof and will produce more than 1,700,000 kilowatt hours of electricity per year, providing approximately 50 percent of the winery’s total energy requirements. The installation is expected to be completed by the end of this year.
Immediate environmental benefits from this project include a reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and an annually reduced carbon footprint equivalent to planting 2,500 acres of trees, not driving an average automobile 25 million miles, or taking more than 2,000 cars off the road.
“We are proud and excited about this solar project,” said Jose Fernandez, CEO, Constellation Wines North America. “We are committed to investing in technologies that will allow us to produce our wines in the most sustainable way possible, from our vineyards through the entire winemaking process. This installation is one of the most significant environmental projects undertaken to date by the wine industry, and will have a positive impact on the environment, as well as being cost effective.”
Clean renewable energy such as solar power helps to protect the environment, lowers energy and consumer product prices, and reduces strain on the electric utility grid by generating electricity when demand is high during the summer. California, in particular, benefits from solar power due to its high number of annual sunlight hours.
“During the summer months, when the winery is not crushing grapes, the system will export enough electricity onto PG&E’s power lines to supply all of the electrical needs for about 25 percent of the roughly 1,695 households in Gonzales,” said Kelly McMahon, Director of Sales for Pacific Power Management, who is working with Constellation on this project.
Constellation Brands, Inc. President and CEO Rob Sands added, “The installation of this solar energy system demonstrates our focus on sustainable business practices that have social, environmental and economic benefits. As the global leader in the wine business, our goal is to establish best practice industry standards that will be beneficial to the environment, as well as to our customers and communities around the world.”
CWUS is dedicated to improving the environment and pursues related initiatives including soil management, water recycling, grape composting, energy conservation, alternative packaging, to name several as examples. The current solar energy project is also supported by California’s Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E).
“PG&E remains dedicated to helping meet California’s requirements for clean and renewable energy” said Janice Berman, Senior Director of Generation and Revenue for PG&E. “Constellation is showing great leadership in pursuing alternative energy sources via this solar project, and we are pleased to have worked closely with them to achieve this goal.”
Solar Project Details:
—The system will provide approximately 50 percent of the winery’s average energy needs
—When more energy is produced than required on site, excess will be sent ‘back to the grid’
—The system will be capable of generating 1,176,230 watts of D.C. power and delivering 1,000,040 watts of A.C. power to the grid
—The installation will include a total of 6,358 Mitsubishi 185 watt solar panels
—The system is managed and financed by Pacific Power Management, based in Auburn, Calif.
—The annual offsets (pollution avoided) are as follows:
—Carbon Dioxide CO2 - 1.6 million pounds annually
—Sulfur Dioxide - 1,636 pounds annually
—Nitrogen Oxides - 2,909 pounds annually
The Gonzales Winery, (formerly known as the Blackstone Winery), is located in Gonzales, Calif., and produces wines distributed by VineOne, the premium and super premium wine division of CWUS. Wine brands produced there include, Black Box, Blackstone Winemakers Select, Robert Mondavi Private Selection, Solaire by Robert Mondavi and Hayman & Hill. The winery is ISO:9001:2000 and HACCP certified and has a 23.4 million gallon storage capacity. It is also home to the Blackstone Monterey Tasting Room.
ABOUT CONSTELLATION WINES U.S.
Constellation Wines U.S. (http://www.cwinesus.com) is the largest wine company in the U.S. based upon sales dollar value and encompasses three wine businesses: VineOne, Icon Estates, and Centerra Wine Company. The company’s portfolio includes brands such as Clos du Bois, Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi, Robert Mondavi Private Selection, Blackstone, Robert Mondavi Winery, Simi, Estancia, Wild Horse, Arbor Mist and Paul Masson Grande Amber Brandy. Constellation Wines U.S. is an operating division of Constellation Brands, Inc. (NYSE:STZ) a leading international producer and marketer of beverage alcohol in the wine, spirits and imported beer categories. http://www.cbrands.com
ABOUT PACIFIC POWER MANAGEMENT, LLC
Pacific Power Management is a full service commercial solar provider. Their services include assessment, financing support, design, engineering, installation, web-based monitoring, maintenance and public relations support to promote their customer’s environmental leadership. The company emphasizes making solar power easy to buy through their Power Purchase Agreement program, efficient, high-quality systems and complete project management. The company’s proprietary, flat-roof racking systems are designed for a 50-year life and high solar panel output efficiency. http://www.pacpower.biz.
ABOUT MITSUBISHI ELECTRIC
Mitsubishi Electric is one of the world’s largest manufacturers and providers of solar power technology, including PV cells, modules and inverters. The company’s eco-friendly photovoltaic systems are used throughout the world to bring clean, reliable energy to residences, business, power generation plants, schools, factories and areas without access to electricity, as well as other applications such as highway and stadium lighting. In the United States, Mitsubishi Electric photovoltaic panels are marketed by Mitsubishi Electric & Electronics USA, Inc., and sold only through authorized distributors and installers. http://www.mitsubishielectricsolar.com
Source: Constellation Wines U.S.