Watershed Premium Wines of Australia Reduces Electricity Bills and Environmental Footprint with High Efficiency SunPower Solar System
149-kilowatt Solar Photovoltaic Rooftop Installation Expected to Save Winery AU$79,000 in Energy Costs Annually and Offset Electricity Use by 30 Percent
MELBOURNE, Australia, April 8, 2014 – SunPower Corp. (NASDAQ: SPWR), a global solar technology and energy services company, and Watershed Premium Wines (Watershed), an award-wining winery located in Margaret River, Australia, today announced the completion of a 149-kilowatt SunPower solar power system installed on a roof shared by Watershed’s barrel store and wine warehouse. The high efficiency SunPower system is expected to save Watershed AU$79,000 in energy costs annually and offset electricity use by 30 percent.
The solar power system, which features 456 highly reliable SunPower E20/327 solar panels with efficiencies of 20 percent, is expected to generate approximately 238 megawatt-hours of emissions-free electricity each year. This is the same amount of energy needed to produce 28,000 cases of wine annually according to estimates provided by AusIndustry, an Australian government initiative. The decision to go solar further enhances Watershed’s commitment to environmentally-responsible business practices. To date, Watershed has implemented initiatives to reduce water, raw material and energy consumption, improve wastewater management, and install an energy-efficient refrigeration system.
“Wine making is an energy-intensive business, so installing a high efficiency and cost-effective SunPower solar system will help lower our overall operating expenses while allowing us to produce finely-crafted Australian wines with an even smaller carbon footprint,” said Watershed Premium Wines Ltd Managing Director Geoff Barrett. “With a SunPower system designed to produce clean, reliable electricity for the next 25 years or more, this was a low-risk investment that made both economic and environmental sense for us.”
Watershed owns the solar power system, which was installed by Sunwise Electrics, and will claim the associated Large-scale Generation Certificates (LGCs) through 2030. The winery expects to use low-cost solar energy produced by the system to offset electricity consumption from the local network when demand and energy prices are at their peak, especially during vintage.
“Wineries from around the world have chosen SunPower solar technology to reduce electricity costs including Domaine Carneros Winery in the United States, Glenelly Wine Estate in South Africa, Luciano Sandrone Winery in Italy, and now Watershed Premium Wines in Australia,” said Chris O’Brien, SunPower country managing director, Australia. “SunPower is committed to delivering its reliable solar technology with significant energy savings and guaranteed performance to residential, commercial and utility customers in Australia and around the world."
SunPower Corp. (NASDAQ: SPWR) designs, manufactures and delivers the highest efficiency, highest reliability solar panels and systems available today. Residential, business, government and utility customers rely on the company’s quarter century of experience and guaranteed performance to provide maximum return on investment throughout the life of the solar system. Headquartered in San Jose, Calif., SunPower has offices in North America, Europe, Australia, Africa and Asia. For more information, visit www.sunpower.com.
About Watershed Premium Wines
Watershed Premium Wines (Watershed) is an award winning winery located in the world-renown Margaret River Wine Region of Australia, committed to quality and innovation from grapes to glass. Watershed is one of the few major producers in Margaret River with enough capacity to satisfy the international wine market demand with more than 187 hectares under vine. Watershed features a modern cellar door facility; 1,800 tonne wine production facility; 1,500 square meter barrel store; 1,000 square meter air conditioned wine storage facility, and an award winning 200 seat restaurant & café serving food and wine enthusiast from around the globe. For more information, visit www.watershedwines.com.au.
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