REC Solar, a national provider of commercial solar and energy solutions, announced the interconnection of two solar energy arrays totaling 388 kW at Niner Wine Estates in Paso Robles, Calif. Together, the systems will provide enough clean energy to power 100 percent of Niner’s 46-acre Heart Hill Vineyard, including the tasting room, restaurant and winery operations. Niner will save approximately $2 million over a 20-year period.
Niner Wine Estates, located in the heart of California’s Central Coast wine region, is committed to integrating sustainability into every aspect of their operations. Accordingly, Niner sought to offset 100 percent of their electricity consumption with solar. To meet Niner’s ambitious net-zero goal, REC Solar analyzed Niner’s energy profile to size the roof and ground mounted systems accordingly.
“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.”
The solar systems were designed and engineered to meet Niner’s specific needs. REC Solar took advantage of California Net Energy Meter Aggregation to locate Niner’s systems on low-value land and the winery roof, rather than on productive soil. REC also ensured that the systems matched the winery’s aesthetic and integrated quality technology.
“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. We even ‘futureproofed’ the system to continue providing 100 percent of Niner’s energy needs even after an upcoming facility expansion is complete.”
REC Solar’s recent acquisition of Stellar Energy expands the company’s robust wine portfolio. REC now counts more than 30 winery customers, including Rombauer Vineyards, St. Supery Estate Vineyards & Winery, J&L Wines and Shale Oak Winery. Backed by Duke Energy, one of the largest energy companies in the world, REC Solar provides tailored financing packages and construction services to help wineries go solar with no money down and no business disruptions.
— Solar Builder magazine