Sunday, October 12, 2008

World's largest solar-powered winery





Solar System using Mitsubishi Solar Panels to be installed at Gonzales Winery in Monterey County to be the largest in the County


Gonzales, Calif. (October 8, 2008)  – Pacific Power Management, LLC announced today that it has begun the installation of the largest solar system at a winery in the world at Constellation Wines U.S. (CWUS) Gonzales Winery, located in Monterey County, Calif.  The 1.2 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.   This project is being financed and built by Pacific Power Management and is expected to be completed by the end of the year. 


Managing Partner of Pacific Power Management, Mark Frederick, commenting on the CWUS installation, said: “Constellation Wines has again shown their industry leadership by going solar.  They have a system that now sets the green standard in the wine industry and gives them a competitive advantage that will only grow as electricity prices increase.”


The environmental benefits from this project include a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and an annually reduced carbon footprint equal to planting 2,500 acres of trees, not driving an average automobile 25 million miles, or taking about 2,083 cars off the road.  


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 system 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.   


Exporting Electricity from the Winery to California Homes


"During the summer months, when the winery is not processing 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.


 “We are proud and excited about this solar project,” said José 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.”



Solar Project Details:


§         The system will provide approximately 60 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

§         Pacific Power Management, based in Auburn, Calif., is financing and building the system.


§         The annual offsets (pollution avoided) are as follows:

o       Carbon Dioxide CO2 - 1.6 million pounds annually

o       Sulfur Dioxide -  1,636 pounds annually

o       Nitrogen Oxides – 2,909  pounds annually


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.  For more information, visit:


About Constellation Wines U.S.


Constellation Wines U.S. ( 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 such 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.


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 Mitsubishi Electric, Photovoltaic Division


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. For more information visit or call 714.220.2500.


1 comment:

  1. Awesome stats on the winery build! Speaking of those stats, I recently saw that LP released some very encouraging data on their TechShield radiant barrier. It can save upwards of 17% on energy costs and reduced carbon dioxide by an estimated 567,710 TONS in the past 10 years. I thought it was very cool that they are helping folks realize just how innovative and green building products can be...and not just for large commercial buildings. For existing homes, LP is releasing a new foil product that can be installed in your attic space for the same type of benefits as their radiant barrier. Cool stuff for new builds and existing homes!