Local winery goes off the grid

Locally based Vergelegen wine estate has installed 500 solar panels, boosting cost savings and environmental sustainability. PICTURE: LRG SOLAR

Vergelegen winery in Somerset West has gone green and completely off the grid with the installation of a solar power plant.

This investment, says the winery, involved installing six solar tables, comprising a total of 500 panels, covering an impressive 1400m².

In addition to the panels, the winery has installed three inverters and a one-megawatt battery. This will ensure that the cellar can still run on the battery during harvesting, even if there is no sun.

“The difference in carbon emissions will be determined over time, but the entire electricity bill for the cellar will be saved as the cellar will run 100% off the solar plant,” says Vergelegen environmental project manager Eben Olderwagen.

“There will also be the diesel cost saving and no emissions from the generator during load shedding.

The supplier company to get the winery to this milestone is LRG Solar.

“The energy not used by the cellar will be pushed into the grid and be credited on the rest of the site’s account, resulting in money saving on electricity bills for the entire estate,” added Mr Olderwagen.

Vergelegen winemaker Luke O’Cuinneagain said: “I believe that sustainability and wine-making go hand in hand. Installing solar panels at our winery is not just a practical decision, it’s a statement of our commitment to the environment and to producing exceptional wines. It’s a win-win for our winery and the planet.”