The recent trend in vineyards going solar certainly makes sense. After all, to a large extent, the success of the business depends on the sun. REC Solar has taken over 30 of them through this process.
The latest to take a shine to solar is Niner Wine Estates’ Heart Hill Vineyard. In partnership with REC Solar, the vineyard is now a net-zero business – 100 percent powered by solar. Niner’s commitment to sustainability can also be seen through its SIP and LEED certifications.
“Sustainability has been important to our business since we started, and solar has been a missing piece for us,” said Andy Niner, president of Niner Wine Estates. “With the price of solar panels at an all-time low and the upcoming expiration of the federal tax credit, now is the right time for Niner to go solar. Best of all, the system pays for itself in approximately five years, which is a familiar timeline for us—it’s how long it takes to cultivate a vine and bottle new wine.”
REC provided two solar arrays totaling 388 kW. Together, the roof and ground mounted systems will provide enough energy to power 100% of the vineyard – including the tasting room, restaurant, and winery operations. Additionally, the system will accommodate the needs of the vineyard as it grows, providing enough energy to cover a planned expansion.
“Wineries plan to be in operation for decades and need their investments to stand the test of time,” said Ryan Park, director of business development at REC Solar. “REC drew on its experience working with wineries across California to build a quality system that reliably delivers serious savings for the long haul.”
The vineyard is located in Paso Robles, in the very heart of California’s Central Coast wine region. The solar system there is expected to save Niner approximately $2 million over a 20-year period.