Vergelegen wine estate takes its cellar off grid with solar/battery hybrid system

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  • Vergelegen wine estate in Somerset West, South Africa, has taken its cellar off grid thanks to the construction of a ground mounted solar PV plus 1MW/h battery energy storage system. 
  • This will ensure that the cellar can still run on the battery during harvesting, even if there is no sun.
  • LRG Solar was the appointed EPC contractor for the job.

“The difference in carbon emissions will be determined over time, but the entire electricity bill for the cellar will be saved as the cellar will run 100% off the solar plant,” says Vergelegen environmental project manager Eben Olderwagen. “There will also be the diesel cost saving and no emissions from the generator during loadshedding.

South African households and business face up to 10 hours of blackouts daily due the governments inability to meet demand via grid supply using a fleet of ageing coal fired power stations.

“The energy not used by the cellar will be pushed into the grid and be credited on the rest of the site’s account, resulting in money saving on electricity bills for the entire estate.”

Vergelegen winemaker Luke O’Cuinneagain said, “I believe that sustainability and wine-making go hand in hand. Installing solar panels at our winery is not just a practical decision, it’s a statement of our commitment to the environment and to producing exceptional wines. It’s a win-win for our winery and the planet.”

Author: Bryan Groenendaal


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