Villiera Wines continues to set the standard for environmentally responsible wine making in the Stellenbosch area with their installation of a solar power system which will reduce their carbon footprint and decrease their reliance on the national electricity grid.
According to Villiera’s owners, electricity is a significant cost factor in running a wine estate and turning to green energy is not only an attractive philosophy but increasingly a smart financial decision too. Owners Jeff Grier, Simon Grier and Cathy Brewer researched all the options and finally decided to opt for a solar power system that will supply all of Villiera’s daytime requirements outside of harvest time.
The project involves approximately 900m² of solar panels mounted on the cellar roofs that together are capable of generating 132 KW of power. “Storing the power would double the cost, so at night and during the harvest season we will continue to rely on Eskom,” commented Jeff Grier. “As far as I know, this is the biggest roof-mounted solar power installation in South Africa at present” he added.
Villiera is also looking at ways to decrease power consumption for example by installing solar domes instead of lights where possible and replacing most electric geysers with solar water heaters.
In recognition of Villiera’s actions on social and environmental issues, UK retailer Marks & Spencer named the vineyard their International ‘Plan A’ Supplier of the Year, the first time the award has gone outside the United Kingdom. Plan A is a sustainability programme that involves “doing the right thing”. A video clip shot by Marks & Spencer at the Villiera estate can be viewed here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kdXptUbp6wE.
For more information contact Villiera Wines: telephone 021 865 2002, email@example.com & www.villiera.com