What on-site renewable energy sources are available for wineries?

Tuesday, 23 April, 2013
Using renewable energy in agriculture has benefits for both the economy and the environment, and many farms around the world are using the abundance of on-site renewable resources to produce energy. More and more farmers in South Africa are looking for alternative energy sources to make their wine farms more sustainable and less reliant on traditional energy sources.
What clean energy options are there for your winery?

Solar Photovoltaics (PV) - With expanses of land and a need to source power to remote locations, solar energy is well-suited for your winery.  While the energy efficiency and environmental benefits of solar energy have long been known, the initial cash outlay for a solar system has deterred many potential customers. But solar energy advocates and installation companies are working towards making solar energy more attractive than ever.  
Several wine farms in South Africa have chosen to install solar plants. These include a 44.65kWp ground mount array at Oldenburg Vineyards and Villiera Wines have installed a private photovoltaic installation with the capacity to produce a total 726 kWh a day, with around five hours of sunlight at 140 kWp (peak). Other farms with solar installations include Vrede en Lust with a 228KWp at peak with almost 1000 panels and Blaauwklippen. 

Wind energy - Wind energy on farms is also an important resource. Wind turbines can be installed alongside crops or even on the same land animals graze on. The turbines can generate enough energy to power the farm, or even produce extra energy to sell back to the grid. 
Producing Energy from Waste - The energy from agricultural waste can be converted to biogas. Biogas is comprised mostly of methane, the same compound that gives natural gas its power, and can be used in turbines designed for natural gas.
The recently launched South African Biogas Industry Association (SABIA) believes that producing energy from biogas makes sense for big scale commercial operations like wine estates.

Small or micro hydropower - Hydroelectric power doesn't necessarily require a large dam – some hydroelectric power plants just use a small canal to channel the river water through a turbine. A small or micro-hydroelectric power system can produce enough electricity for a home, farm or a vineyard. 
Villiera, for example, uses a mix of renewable energy to displace Eskom power: from solar geysers to a small hydro-electric system and a battery system which stores solar power.

Where can you go to find out more about clean energy technologies and what they can provide for your wine estate?

Save your winery money by implementing energy efficiency projects and installing renewable energy solutions. Gain access to specialised and leading vendors of renewable energy solutions with a FREE exhibition pass to the Clean Power Africa 2013 Exhibition, co-located with the 13th annual African Utility Week Exhibition on the 14 – 15 May at the CTICC in Cape Town.

Gain industry knowledge on solar, wind and small hydro solutions from 250 exhibitors such as Jinko Solar, Soventix, S&C Electric, Marelli, Gilkes and Aurecon and visit Eskom to find out more about incentives for renewable energy installations. 

Schedule your time at the exhibition to attend the FREE technical workshops situated on the exhibition floor, including topics on:

- Solar Rooftop projects for Large Power Users
  Claire Lockey, Marketing and Communicaitons, SolarWorld Africa, South Africa
- Waste to Energy
  Linda Cele, GIBB, South Africa
- Containerised mini hydro systems - A simple, secure and cost-effective system for
  mini-hydro deployment on and off-grid
  Rik van der Kley, Entura Hydro Tasmania Energy Efficiency for large and very large energy users
- Energy Efficiency for large and very large energy users
  Chris Haw, Managing Director, Aurora Power Solutions, South Africa and spokesperson for SAPVIA
- Sustainable energy solutions for businesses
  Wayne Fortuin, IDM Implementation Manager, Eskom, South Africa

Can your business survive off the power grid? 

Comment at the bottom and tell us about your current energy efficiency projects and you can stand a chance to win a CONFERENCE PASS valued at R 12 800. The conference sessions will look at solar, wind and hydro as renewable energy sources throughout Africa, and the impact on government and businesses alike.

Make the best decision you will make this year right now and register your free attendance to an event where you will meet knowledgeable people with practical advice on a range of energy efficiency technologies and processes.